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Summary: Disability and Health, Social Care and Sport

Summary: Disability and Health, Social Care and Sport

  • In 2016, 29% of home-care clients had physical disabilities.

Source: Social Care Survey, 2016

  • Carers - 16% of people who provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbour are deaf or have partial hearing loss; 16% have a physical disability; 11% have a mental health condition.

Source: Scotland’s Carers

  • In 2014, those with a long-term limiting condition have considerably lower levels of good/very good general health than the rest of the population (27.5% compared with 88.6% in the non-disabled group).

  • In 2014, the smoking rate for this group is around 40% higher than for the rest of the population. Smoking prevalence among those with long-term limiting conditions has fallen in line with the change at national level since 2012, down 2.2 points to 27.7% in 2014.

  • In 2014, people with long-term physical or mental health conditions that limit their daily activities have lower levels of mental wellbeing.

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions (SSCQ) 2014

  • The association between self-assessed health and disability is very strong, as might be expected. Only 39% of respondents with a limiting long-term condition reported being in good or very good heath compared to 81% of those with a non-limiting condition and 92% of those without any condition. 

Source: Scottish Health Survey Topic Report: Equality Groups


  • As at end March 2017, 0.8% of the staff employed by NHSScotland declared a disability.  (Information on disability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation is based on data from a self-reported questionnaire. As this is not mandatory, response rates and completion are variable across NHSScotland.)

Source: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Workforce/


  • The Scottish Government collects information on the experiences of people in relation to healthcare services through the Scottish care experience survey programme.  Both patient and non-patient factors influence people’s experiences. While patient characteristics such as age and gender account for some of the variation in experiences, non-patient factors such as the individual GP practice, GP practice size, type of admission to hospital and individual hospital are also an important influence on experience.

  • Analysis has been undertaken which takes all of these factors into account in relation to differences in experiences for GP, Inpatient and Cancer care.  This analysis can be found at:

 Sources: Variations in the Experience of Inpatients in Scotland: Analysis of the 2016 Inpatient Survey

Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12 Volume 3: Variation in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients

Experience Survey Volume 3: Exploring differences in experience

Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2015/16 - Exploring Differences in Cancer Patient Experiences


Useful Links

Disability Page

Health, Social Care and Sport Page

National Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes. Equality breakdowns illustrate how protected groups are progressing towards achievement of the National Outcomes, particularly ‘we have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society’.

National Indicator number 26: Reduce the percentage of adults who smoke, data table

- progress against this National Indicator, broken down by Disability, can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Measuring Use of Health Services by Equality Group (NHS Scotland Information Services Division, 2017) This report describes the current availability of equality data in routine national administrative health datasets in Scotland that are used for a number of secondary uses such as planning, performance monitoring, benchmarking and research. It covers age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and transgender

ISD Equality Evidence Finder (NHS Scotland Information Services Division) Summarises the NHS data available by equality characteristics

Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (April 2018) Official statistics publication on equality groups across a range of measures from harmonised questions across the major SG population surveys. This publication provides statistics centred around protected equality characteristics and sub-national geographies: age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, country of birth, deprivation and Health Board/Police Scotland Division.

Scottish Household Survey 2016 (September 2017) This report presents reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics and behaviour of Scottish households, both nationally and at a sub-national level. This includes analysis of age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation


Inpatient Experience Survey Volume 3: Exploring differences in experience (April 2017) This report explores differences in the self-reported experiences of different groups of people based on the 2015/16 Scottish Inpatient Experience Survey. It considers age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation

Care Home Census 2016 (October 2016) This annual census publication presents information on care homes for adults (aged eighteen and older) in Scotland. It focuses on the five main client groups: older people 65+, adults with physical disabilities, adults with mental health problems, adults with learning difficulties, and other vulnerable adults

Active Scotland Outcomes: Indicator Equality Analysis (November 2015) This report presents an analysis of equality data across the indicators from the Active Scotland Outcomes Framework. Many data gaps were highlighted, however, available evidence points to inequality of opportunities and outcomes for all groups with protected characteristics across all the Active Scotland outcomes.

Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12 Volume 3: Variation in the Experiences of Primary Care Patients (March 2013) This report explores variations in the self-reported experiences of different people using GP and out-of–hours health services. The main source of information is the Scottish Patient Experience Survey of GP and Local NHS Services 2011/12. It considers age, deprivation, disability, ethnicity, gender and religion

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Disability Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to disability.

Scotland’s Mental Health and its Context: Adults (NHS Health Scotland, 2012) Report describing the state of mental health and the associated contextual factors that influence it. It identifies inequalities in mental health within the Scottish population, by socio-economic status, age and gender.

Dimensions of Diversity:Population Differences and Health Improvement Opportunities (NHS Health Scotland, 2010) This gives a concise overview, of basic health information about a range of population groups in Scotland, linking users to further sources of information.


Future Developments

Future Developments

Developing datasets section of website to include more interactive spreadsheets that provide additional anaylsis than in our publications - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Health/Data

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

Treat Me Well (Mencap, March 2018) Report on the experiences of people with learning disabilities when accessing hospital healthcare. Includes a survey of people with learning disabilities, as well as health care professionals across the UK.

Learning Disabilities Scotland Statisics 2017 (SCLD, 2017) This Scottish Commission for Learning Disability statistics Release is based on the thirteenth set of national and local authority level figures provided by local authorities in Scotland for adults with learning disabilities.

External Research Organisations

NHS Health Scotland - Provide an introduction to equality, health inequalities and human rights in relation to health outcomes for each of the nine protected characteristics, signposting to qualitative research about access to services, practice guidance and case studies to help planners and practitioners design and deliver services which meet the needs of individuals and communities. Their Monthly Equalities Alert provides an update on the latest articles and journals covering health in relation to protected characteristics and population groups.




Health, Social Care & Sport