National Care Service - social care and caring experiences: evidence

Overview of recent evidence on experiences of social care and unpaid caring in Scotland. It is part of a collection of contextual evidence papers, setting out key sources of information about social care and related areas in Scotland.

Key findings

  • A total of 62% of respondents reported that their care and support services were either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in 2021-22. This is a decrease from 69% in 2019-20. The proportion of people considering their care and support services ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ increased from 12% to 17%.
  • The proportion of respondents reporting funding for help and support with everyday living decreased between 2019-20 and 2021-22, across all sources of funding, with the biggest drop being the NHS (-4.8 percentage points). This coincided with an increase of almost 10 percentage points in the proportion of people for whom unpaid care forms at least part of their support.
  • Between 2019-20 and 2021-22, the proportion of people reporting a choice in arranging their care fell from 42% to 36%, while those saying they did not have a choice increased from 17% to 24%.
  • In 2021-22, respondents who did not receive support but felt they needed it were proportionally more likely to be: non-white, disabled, living in deprived areas, LGBO (lesbian, gay, bisexual, other) and unpaid carers.
  • For unpaid carers, 6 in 10 respondents reported receiving no support or help with their caring roles.
  • Over 1 in 20 respondents (5.5%) reported that they were providing 35 or more hours of care a week in 2021-22, a slight increase from 5% in 2019-20.
  • Unpaid carers were proportionally most likely to be supporting parents/grandparents (48%) or spouses/partners (24%).

Young people (aged 17-24) reported the highest rates of feeling supported to continue caring. However, over half of the respondents in this younger cohort (51%) reported that caring has had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.



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