National Care Service - health and demographic profile: evidence

Provides an overview of Scotland’s health and demographic profile and population projections. It is part of a collection of contextual evidence papers, setting out key sources of information about social care and related areas in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

1. Introduction

Following a brief overview of the drivers associated with demand for social care across the population, this paper provides an overview of the health profile of Scotland's population, including the distribution across the population of indicators such as life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, the burden of disease and multimorbidity. It then draws on projections made by National Records for Scotland (NRS) in relation to health and demographics across the coming decades, laying a foundation for discussion of how these shifts will come to shape demand for social care. Throughout the paper, focus is placed on aspects of population health and demographics which are relevant to the demand for social care. This paper incorporates evidence from both peer-reviewed academic and grey literature, including a number of recent statistical publications from National Records for Scotland (NRS).

This paper forms one of an initial collection of contextual evidence papers, setting out key sources of information about social care and related areas in Scotland, linking to the National Care Service Consultation proposals published in August 2021.

The collection consists of the following 6 papers on social care:

1. Scotland's Health and Demographic Profile

2. People who Access Social Care and Unpaid Carers in Scotland

3. Social Care Support and Service Provision in Scotland

4. Experiences of Social Care and Caring in Scotland

5. The Adult Social Care Workforce in Scotland

6. Adult Social Care in Scotland - Equality Evidence Overview

And papers on:

7. Children's Social Services

8. Justice Social Work in Scotland

9. Learning and evidence from national social care systems in Nordic and Scandinavian countries

10. Integrated Care Studies: The SCFNuka (Alaska) and Canterbury (New Zealand) Models

While the focus of this set of evidence papers is social care, there is an intrinsic link between social care and social work. Social work is a statutory role which involves assessing need, managing risk, and promoting and protecting the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Social care support is an umbrella term for adult, children's and justice services which directly support people to meet their personal outcomes. A social work evidence paper is being prepared for publication in summer 2022.



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