Statement of Intent

Radical Visions for Social Care is a national person-led, human rights driven, policy and ideas platform describing and campaigning for systems-level solutions in health and social care enabling citizens to be fully in control, respected, and valued by society.

It is a national conduit for radical health and social care policy solutions, and practice development, and is building a coalition of partners able to articulate an independent perspective on health and social care practice, which is rooted in the human rights of individuals.

The platform is not primarily concerned with a specific group of people, nor with the interests of social care provider organisations, nor with some selective aspects of social care. Its concern is with the transformation of the whole system of social care in the interests of everyone who relies upon it.

The principles that therefore inform the work of Radical Visions for Social Care include

  • the dignity and equality of status afforded by human rights
  • person-led accountability
  • evidence-led best practice
  • an understanding that social care isn’t something we organise just for the marginalised few, but something that is vital to the wellbeing of all of us.

Why now?

We stand at a major crossroads in the development of social care in Scotland, with the recently elected Government having committed itself to legislate for the creation of a National Care Service, in keeping with the recommendation of the independent Review of Adult Social Care published earlier in the year. With many of the themes and additional recommendations of the review being supportive of a well-resourced, community-based, person-led service, rooted in human rights, there are reasons for optimism. But there are also chastening reminders of previous progressive policies poorly implemented or simply ignored.

In these circumstances the independent voice of Scotland’s social care community needs to be heard, as experienced by those people who rely on it, now and in the future: a voice for sound principle and best practice, informed by up-to-date knowledge and research, accountable to those who rely upon and work in health and social care, but seeking accountability from those responsible for the proper implementation of legislation and national policy.

This platform will advance arguments which support the general thrust of the approach proposed in the Independent Review, but extend it in important ways:

  • a rights-based approach;
  • a person-led approach informed and empowered by self-directed support;
  • a community-based approach committed to de-institutionalisation;
  • a decentralised approach supportive of neighbourhood democracy;
  • a universalist approach committed to the development of Universal Basic Income;
  • an approach underpinned by well-resourced service systems where vexatious charges are removed and staff are properly remunerated.

The platform provides a forum where these ideas can be shared and debated by individuals and families, professionals and decision-makers, and where new thought-leadership will emerge. It will strive to communicate the bigger picture – describing systemic problems and offering clear, radical solutions. It will seek to change the discourse and inspire action. Where appropriate it will convene expert working groups and develop policy proposals; produce research and publish reports; provide comment to the media and contribute to professional conferences.

What Radical Visions for Social Care will it offer?

The platform will be concerned more specifically in the first instance with three themes:

  1. A commitment to the principles of self-directed support, and supporting the design of a national service which places this at its core in terms of standards, accountability, commissioning, and quality
  2. A commitment to a rights-based approach through the proper adoption of the concepts of “legal capacity” and “supported decision-making”;
  3. The ways in which the “long-term care” of older people and adults with disabilities – often in the past, and still in the present, distorted by institutional, out-of-area models – can be re-shaped in keeping with the approach described above.

Who is Radical Visions for Social Care?

The Radical Visions for Social Care platform is launched with support from ENABLE Scotland as its founding partner and through the involvement of a wider research and reference group including Simon Duffy (Citizen Network), Henry Simmons (Alzheimer Scotland), Jan Savage (ENABLE Scotland) and Nick Watson (Glasgow University). It is led by John Dalrymple of Radical Visions.

Radical Visions is a human services consultancy established to provide practical assistance to fellow citizens, families, organisations and wider society to promote and exercise the values of inclusion. It is committed to de-institutionalisation and a human-rights-based approach person-centred planning and self-directed support. Radical Visions was established privately by Frances Brown and John Dalrymple in 2017. The following year they led the incorporation of Radical Visions CiC.

Since 2017 Radical Visions has worked closely in a consultative role with ENABLE Scotland and the Thistle Foundation in Edinburgh; undertaken an evaluation of aspects of Edinburgh mental health services; published a guide to de-institutionalisation in England and Scotland; participated in the development of the Citizen Network in conjunction with the Centre for Welfare Reform; led the development of CitizenFest/We Are One Scotland; developed the Advocacy Plus project in conjunction with In Control Scotland and Civil Rights First; and provided advice and undertaken planning activities with a wide range of individuals and families.