Free Personal and Nursing Care: Methodology and background information, 2022-23

This document is part of a collection

Scottish Government Quarterly Monitoring Return

Also known as the Community Care Quarterly Key Monitoring Return

Since July 2002, the Scottish Executive – followed by the Scottish Government – has collected quarterly information on the number of people receiving Free Personal Care services at home and the number of self-funding care home residents receiving Free Personal Care (FPC) and Free Nursing Care (FNC) payments under the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002.

From 2013-14 to 2020-21 this data collection was conducted during the final quarter of the year only. This means that prior to 2021-22, the figures show a snapshot of the year at the end of Quarter 4 rather than the average across the year. Annual figures for the number of clients, and the number of hours of care represent a snapshot at the end of Quarter 4. From 2021-22, data has been published for all four quarters within the accompanying tables. This has always been the case for figures for those aged 65 and over, but figures for those aged 18-64 are now also presented in this way within this publication.

Prior to 2018-19, numbers of self-funding residents aged 18 to 64 receiving FNC payments were combined with the total number of residents aged 65 and over receiving FNC, and published as a single total. As the number of residents aged 18 to 64 receiving FNC are very small, figures for those aged 65 and over are broadly comparable before and after 2018-19. Due to small numbers, some figures for residents aged 18 to 64 are reported at Scotland-level only for disclosure control purposes. 

In 2019, this survey was updated to collect information on under 65s receiving FPC following the extension of the policy to people of all ages who are eligible, known as Frank’s Law. This data was first published in a separate report (Extension Of Free Personal Care To People Under The Age Of 65, Scotland, 2020-21), but since 2021-22, has been included in the same publication as the data on those aged 65 and over.

More details on the variables collected are in Appendix 2: Collected and Calculated Variables, or see a blank copy of the Quarterly Monitoring Return for 2022-23.

Other data sources

The Quarterly Monitoring Return was the only data source used in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 publications. However, LFR03 was used to provide financial data for the 2020-21 publication and those in previous years.

For more details of data sources used in previous years’ FPNC publications, please refer to past publications themselves, available via the Free Personal and Nursing Care collection.

Prior to 2017/18, data on Care at Home was collected and published by the Scottish Government via the Social Care Survey.

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