Care legislation exists in order to outline how care services are provided and to safeguard the needs and rights of people requiring care and those of their carers. Care legislation is affected by current influences, whether that is in relation to human rights, political views, technological advances or professional practice.

Promoting equality and anti-discriminatory practice are now seen as paramount within good care practice. Valuing diversity and individuality are seen as core care values and this is reflected in practice when promoting equality.

International legislation

  • Human Rights Act 1998

Core care legislation

  • National Health Service & Community Care Act 1990
  • Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001
  • Community Care & Health (Scotland) Act 2002
  • Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010
  • The Public Bodies (Joint Working)(Scotland) Act 2014

Specialist areas

  • Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
  • Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
    Note: changes are currently being made to the Act – make sure to you are familiar with these.
  • Children’s Act 1995
  • Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
  • Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act (Scotland) 2007
  • Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011


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