Coronavirus (COVID-19): isolate and support data - December 2021

Management information provided by local authorities relating to support to isolate and support for people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Isolate and support data – latest management information covering the period 29 November 2021 to 2 January 2022

The Scottish Government provides local authorities with funding to support those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and for those who need to isolate after being contacted by Test and Protect.

Monthly management information is now available providing data on:

  • proactive calls and text messages made by local authorities to cases or contacts who must isolate after being contacted by Test and Protect (as part of a national policy of support to isolate)
  • inbound contacts made to local authorities via direct local authority lines or the National Assistance Helpline, where people are looking for advice or support
  • support referrals made by local authorities to those in need due to having to isolate as a case or contact, or more generally because they are in need during the pandemic

Not every local authority provides every component of this data. This is based on information from between 30 and all 32 local authorities (23-30 for text message indicators), depending on the component and week, and may be subject to revision by the local authorities. Data on text messages was collected for the first time for week ending 1 August 2021.

Outbound proactive calls

People who are contacted by Test and Protect as needing to self-isolate can choose to allow their contact details to be shared with their local authority for support to isolate.

Local authorities made 23,947* successful initial calls and sent 17,510 initial text messages during this period to ask people whether they needed support and to assess their support needs. Local authorities also made 897 successful follow-up calls and sent 40 follow-up text messages to people during their isolation period to check whether their needs were being met. Out of all proactive calls made by local authorities, 20,885 (84%*) needed no support.

The initial calls should be made to unique individuals each time. The follow up calls are made to the same set of people as called initially where needed/consented to ensure they are receiving the support they need during self-isolation. Text messages may be sent in place of, or in addition to, attempts to call individuals.

Inbound contacts

The public can also contact their local authority themselves, via telephone, email, contact form etc., to ask for help, advice, and support during COVID-19.

During this period local authorities were contacted 7,327 times with requests for information or support. In addition, there were 4,276 contacts to local authorities relating to Test and Protect, after an individual has been asked to isolate by Test and Protect as a case or contact.

These contacts may not necessarily be from unique individuals each time.


From all contacts (proactive or inbound, excluding text messages), 5,301 (15%*) required information only.

When support needs were identified, they included:

  • referrals to the Self-Isolation Support Grant: 8,876 (24%)
  • referrals for help and support with food: 1,787 (5%)
  • referrals for other financial advice: 1,645 (5%*)
  • referrals for help with pharmacy deliveries: 173 (<1%)
  • referrals for support with isolation e.g. befriending support: 116 (<1%)
  • referrals for transport to vaccination (local authority provision is only one aspect of a wider transport support service): 14 (<1%)
  • referrals for isolation accommodation: 2 (<1%)
  • provision of isolation accommodation: 2 (<1%)
  • 1,379 (11%) of the above referrals were made to the third sector.

Overall, from a total of 36,447* of all inbound and proactive contacts (excluding text messages), information was provided or onward referral made in 17,916 instances. Referrals may be made to local authority teams or to partner organisations.

The percentages of each type of support are calculated out of the total successful contacts. Percentages may add up to more than 100% as more than one kind of support may be provided per contact, or less as not all contacts may require support. Information about referrals to vaccination transportation and accommodation referrals and provision began to be collected in February 2021.

* In February 2022, the figure for successful initial calls was revised from 24,336 to 23,947 following a revision by one local authority. This affected the percentage of calls that needed no support (revised from 83 to 84%), the percentage for information only (revised from 14 to 15%), for financial advice (revised from 4 to 5%) and the figure for total contacts (revised from 36,836 to 36,447).

Further information

The next monthly update will be 8 March 2022. A spreadsheet of the data from 2 November 2020 to 2 January 2022 can be found below.

The data reported are management information based on a range of operational systems. While checks are completed before publication to ensure data robustness, due to the speed of reporting these data are not currently subject to the full range of processes and quality assurance that would be required for Official Statistics.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): isolate and support data - December 2021
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