Health and social care analysis

Collection of information from across the whole range of health and social care services for adults in Scotland.


Summary of the analytical evidence produced and published by the Scottish Government. 

Adult Support and Protection

Adult Support and Protection annual data was released on the 9th May 2023 for the first time. These Scottish national data will include: referrals; investigations (type of harm and location of harm breakdowns); case conferences; large scale investigations and protection orders as well as some demographic information.

Health and care surveys

We run several surveys which straddle the boundary between health and social care.

Scottish Health Survey

The Scottish Health Survey provides a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population in private households and is designed to make a major contribution to the monitoring of health in Scotland.

Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme

The Scottish Care Experience Survey Programme is a suite of national surveys which aim to provide local and national information on the quality of health and care services from the perspective of those using them. The surveys allow local health and care providers to compare with other areas of Scotland and to track progress in improving the experiences of people using their services.

Free personal and nursing care

Free personal and nursing care (FPNC) was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2002 to people aged 65 and over. In April 2019, Frank’s law extended the provision of FPNC payments to all adults.

Data are collected in the Scottish Government's quarterly monitoring return, then published annually in our Free Personal and Nursing Care publication. In each publication, information is included on:

  • the number of people receiving these payments in their own home and in care homes
  • the amount spent on FPNC payments in care homes (since 2021-22, this has been estimated)
  • the amount spent on personal care services to people in their own home
  • the average weekly number of hours of personal care provided to people in their own home

Find publications dating back to 2010-11 in the Free Personal and Nursing Care collection.

Eligibility criteria and waiting times

Eligibility criteria and waiting times data is collected as part of the Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return. Eligibility criteria categories define the severity of need for care, whilst waiting times report on the time frames for assessment and delivery of care.

Data have been collected from 2010 to 2022, and the last quarter of each financial year is reported on. Until 2018, data was published as data tables only, but to improve accessibility and understanding of the data, the first publication was produced alongside the data in 2022 (detailing data from 2011 to 2021). However, due to many local authorities reporting difficulty in providing the information asked for in this data collection, we are working with Public Health Scotland (PHS) to determine the future of this data. The 2021-22 data collection will be the final publication in this format. 

Carers Census

The Carers Census collects a variety of information on unpaid carers being supported by Local Authorities and Carer Centres across Scotland. This information is being collected in part to help monitor the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into force on 1st April 2018. 

Scotland's Carers

The Scotland's Carers publication brings together statistical analysis from sources including Scotland's Census and the Scottish Health Survey, as well as research of caring to give a picture of carers' health, wellbeing, employment and demographic information.

Mental health inpatient census

The 2022 Mental Health Inpatient Census was carried out as at 23:59 on the 11 April 2022 by NHS Boards across Scotland. The census has three parts:

  • part 1: Mental Health and Learning Disability Inpatient Bed Census
  • part 2: Out of NHS Scotland Placements
  • part 3: Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care and Long Stay

Parts 1 and 2 were carried out for the first time in October 2014, and repeated again each March from 2016 to present. In March 2016, the census was expanded to include a section on patients receiving Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care (HBCCC) and Long Stay patients. The census was paused in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

Social care expenditure data

The Local Financial Returns (LFRs) are a series of detailed returns that collect final, audited expenditure figures across all services that local authorities provide. The data collected in the LFRs is then published as part of the annual Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics (SLGFS) publication, classed as National Statistics

Up to and including 2020/21, there was a single return sheet (LFR 03) for all social work expenditure data, which was the main source of social care expenditure data available in Scotland. A detailed review of LFR 03 was undertaken before the issue of the 2021/22 LFRs, which identified data quality concerns with some of the ‘Additional Information’ captured in LFR 03. As a result, following consultation, some changes were made to the 2021/22 LFR 03 collection. These changes included removing information on expenditure by client group, and transferring this to a new separate data collection, to be known as LFR SC. Unlike LFR 03, LFR SC data is not classed as National Statistics and is not included in the SLGFS publication.

Despite these changes, LFR 03 remains the main source of expenditure data on social care in Scotland, with only the more detailed client group data collected and published as LFR SC.

Interim care placement uptake

On 10 January 2023 The Scottish Government made funding available to Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) to subsidise the purchase of additional interim care facilities. This is to enhance the existing provision from HSCPs. The figures presented show the uptake of this offer and the total number of people in interim care beds.

National performance indicators and data linkage

Information on NHS indicators can be found on the ISD Scotland website:

For Population Projections, please see the National Records of Scotland website

Information related to health and community care data linkage is linked below.

Information for data suppliers

Discontinued publications

The following publications have been discontinued for a variety of reasons.

The self-directed support and social care services publications have been incorporated into the PHS SOURCE dataset and are published in Insights in Social care.

We collected social care survey data from 2010 to 2017. This subsequently moved to Public Health Scotland (PHS), where it was integrated into the SOURCE dataset in 2018, and is published as ‘Insights in Social Care’. To see data from 2017/18 onwards please go to PHS’ Insights in Social Care website.

The Respite Care Scotland publication was discontinued due to a change in focus from simply collecting the volume of respite care towards presenting information about carers and the overall support that they receive.

Older publications (2010 and previously) related to social care are available in our website archive.

Data improvements

All statistics need to be regularly updated to remain relevant and useful to data users, whilst not causing undue burden on data providers. A review of adult social care statistics in Scotland by the Office of Statistics Regulation (OSR) highlighted a number of issues with the current care home evidence base and provided a number of recommendations for improvement.

Care Home Data Review 2022 - 2023

In collaboration with our social care partners, we are conducting a review into the care home data landscape as part of a much wider planned review of the entire social care data landscape. The review is considering improvements around the content, quality and frequency of current data collections, and alternative methods of data collection. To stay up to date with our progress, or to participate in the review yourself, see Care Home Data Review.

More information

Other organisations also publish evidence relating to health and social care in Scotland. These include:

For statistics relating to hospitals and other areas of the NHS in Scotland, see NHS Scotland's Information Services Division (ISD).

See our health and social care topic for more information on policies, indicators and what social care is covered.

For more information on the National Care Service bill please see the National Care Service page and the national care service evidence papers.

Older publications related to health and social care are available in our website archive.


If you have any enquiries relating to social care analysis statistics then please contact us at:

Experience surveys:
Scottish Health Survey:
Social care:


Social Care Analysis Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Any enquiries relating to statistics published by NHS Scotland can be sent to

We welcome any comments on both the format and content of the website, including any problems you may encounter.

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