Review of care service definitions: challenges and recommendations

Findings from the review of care service definitions independent research project commissioned by the Scottish Government.


The 2020-21 Programme for Government included the commitment to complete a review of care services definitions. This was to enable social care support services and workers to be more flexible and responsive to people's needs and work both more autonomously, and with others across professions.

A steering group, led by the Scottish Government with representation from the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Social Services Council, was established to progress this Programme for Government commitment. The group commissioned independent research to review current definitions of care and explore options to ensure that they better reflect, more holistic approaches to deliver person-centred, flexible outcomes.

The research was conducted by Iriss during May and June 2021.

This document presents the findings from the independent research and will inform any further recommendations that may be made.

We would like to thank all those who contributed to this evaluation and partner agencies who shared their insight and experiences, this added much value to our understanding of the issues with the current definitions and categorisation of care services and social service. We would also like to thank our Iriss and Scottish Government colleagues for their valuable input and support throughout this project.



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