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by Kirsteen Paterson
29 March 2023
MSPs seek clarity from Humza Yousaf over National Care Service timetable

MSPs seek clarity from Humza Yousaf over National Care Service timetable

MSPs have urged new First Minister Humza Yousaf to confirm whether he’ll stick to the timetable for Scotland’s proposed National Care Service.

During his SNP leadership campaign, Yousaf – who was then health secretary – told Holyrood he would be willing to overhaul the bill amidst concerns from local government, trade unions, opposition parties and charities like Parkinson’s UK.

When he unveiled the plan for the centralised service last year, Yousaf called it the “most ambitious reform of public services since the creation of the NHS”. It was expected that the service would be in place by the end of 2026.

But the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee and Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee said there is insufficient detail in the National Care Service Bill to allow them to carry out proper scrutiny.

Now the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee has written to the new FM to “seek clarification of the Scottish Government’s up-to-date position regarding the planned timetable” for the bill.

The cross-party panel agreed to move the deadline for stage one scrutiny of the bill to the end of June, following a request from parliamentary business minister George Adam.

Now its convenor Gillian Martin has asked Yousaf if that deadline still applies.

Launching his campaign, Yousaf told Holyrood he was “willing to work with those who oppose the current plan to see if there are some areas where we could compromise”.

Seeking clarification over the date, Martin wrote: “It has been intimated that you may seek to undertake further engagement with key stakeholders regarding the National Care Service Bill during the course of this summer and I would be similarly grateful for any further detail you are able to provide concerning the planned scope, nature and focus of this engagement.”

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