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National Indicator: Quality of Public Services

d Improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services

Indicator Measure
Percentage of respondents who are fairly or very satisfied with the quality of the following local services: local health services, local schools and public transport

Current Status
In 2015, 57.5% of adults were satisfied with local health services, local schools and public transport. This is a decrease of 4.4 percentage points from 2014, when the proportion was 61.9%.

2007 to 2015

Source: Scottish Household Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 27 September 2016
Next Update: September 2017

Improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

The quality of public services is part of the bedrock on which our society and future prosperity depends, and is crucial in shaping a flourishing, productive and equitable Scotland. Public services have the power to improve people's quality of life and enhance their opportunities. It is important, therefore, that they are high quality, efficient, continually improving and responsive to the needs of local people.

This indicator provides an overview of people's satisfaction with public services, based on three types of public services: health services, public transport and schools.

Satisfaction is an indicator of the public's perceptions of service quality; it reflects how it feels to use a service. Increasing people's perception of quality in public services allows us to address all the factors that drive forward customer satisfaction.

What will influence this National Indicator?

In general, people tend to be satisfied when their perceptions of the service they have received matches (or exceeds) their expectations. When the service provided falls below their expectations, they are likely to be dissatisfied.

People's expectations of public services are shaped by a combination of different factors, many of which are outwith the control of the service provider, such as reading or hearing about the service from other sources.

People's perceptions about services they have experienced directly will also likely reflect several aspects of the service, including: accuracy; being treated fairly; sympathetic staff; how long the service takes; the way the service kept its promises; the quality of the final outcome; and the way the service handled any problems.

What is the Government's role?

The Government is committed to: embedding an open and rigorous performance culture within Scotland's public services; ensuring greater clarity around the objectives of public organisations; and establishing clearer lines of accountability that help to bolster standards of service and improve outcomes.

Those who fund public services are entitled to know how public resources are used and to expect that services strive constantly to attain maximum value from every pound. For that reason, the Government has asked all parts of the public sector to report publicly on their plans to improve the value for money achieved by public services, actions undertaken and results achieved.

The indicator will show us nationally that, over a time period, public services are showing they understand people, that they are using performance and other data to drive their work, that the user experience of public services is improving and, crucially, public service providers are providing transparent feedback to users. Tracking public satisfaction is a powerful way of showing how well public services are listening to what people want, that they are improving services accordingly and that they are improving over time.

Rising satisfaction levels will show that people receive the services they really want, rather than what someone else thinks they should have.

How is Scotland performing?

The percentage of adults satisfied with local health services, local schools and public transport in 2015 was 57.5%, similar to the level in 2007 of 57.1% (the first year these data were collected). However, levels of satisfaction have decreased from a peak of 66.0% in 2011.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

In general, older people (those over the age of 65) are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of public services than younger adults. In 2015, 61% of people aged 65 to 74 and 65% of those aged 75 and older reported being satisfied with the quality of local health services, local schools and public transport, compared to 56% of people aged 16-24 years.

Historically, adults living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of services than adults in the rest of Scotland.  In 2015, 64% of adults in the 15% most deprived areas were satisfied with the quality of public services compared to 56% of adults in the rest of Scotland.

Those living in urban areas are more likely to be satisfied with the quality of services than those living in rural areas, with 59% of those living in urban areas satisfied with the quality of services in 2015, compared to 51% of those living in rural areas.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1.5 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1.5 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

NHS Boards

And all organisations providing public services

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

Smarter

Healthier

Safer and Stronger

Greener

View National Indicator Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services
Description:Improve people's perceptions of the quality of public services
File:Public Service Quality [XLS, 525.8 kb: 26 Sep 2016]
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