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7 October, 2020 Open access

Scottish Government confirms that it intends to suspend provisions of Coronavirus Act that allow for easement of local authority duties to assess care and support needs

Survey of the extent of the operation of the powers at a local level has demonstrated that few councils have needed to use the powers, says Cabinet Secretary

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it intends to suspend the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 that allow for the easement of local authority' duties to assess care and support needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In a debate in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs Michael Russell highlighted that the House of Commons recently undertook a review of the 2020 Act's non-devolved provisions after six months of operation, and on 30 September 2020 approved a motion that the temporary provisions should not yet expire.

However, pointing out that the devolved provisions in the UK Act - including section 16 which provides for easement of local authority duties to assess and meet care needs in Scotland - were not in the scope of that review, Mr Russell said - 

'I can confirm today that the Scottish Government intends to bring forward regulations to suspend the provisions in section 16 of the UK act relating to social care needs assessments, as they apply to adult services. That follows a further survey of the extent of the operation of the powers at a local level, which has again demonstrated that few local authorities have needed to use those powers.' 

The Coronavirus Legislation debate is available from parliament.scot