Social care: eligibility criteria and waiting times Scotland 2022-2023

The latest information on new clients meeting eligibility criteria for social care support, and the waiting times between first contact, completion of a community care assessment and delivery of a new personal care service.

This document is part of a collection

Due to data completeness, trends are based on the Local Authorities responding every year, so are for indicative purposes only and do not necessarily reflect national trends. See the ‘Limitations of the data’ section for more information.

New clients receiving a community care assessment

  • Rates of community care assessments for new older clients (65 and over) in the 19 local authorities responding every year, peaked in 2016 at 11.6 per 1,000 population and decreased each year until 2021 (8.3 per 1,000 population). This rate increased slightly in 2022 and 2023 to stand at 8.8 per 1,000 population.
  • Rates of younger clients (aged 18 to 64) receiving a community care assessment, in the 20 local authorities responding each year, was considerably lower than for older people, at less than 1 per 1,000 population.

Clients receiving a new personal care service

  • Rates of older clients (aged 65 and over) receiving a new personal care service increased, from 7.0 per 1,000 population in 2014, to a peak of 9.5 in 2019, before falling back to 7.2 in 2022 and rising again slightly to 7.5 in 2023 (Based on 16 local authorities).
  • Rates of younger clients (aged 18 to 64) recorded as being new personal clients was considerably lower, less than 1 per 1,000 population, than for older people (Based on 20 local authorities).

Waiting times

  • In both 2022 and 2023, over a quarter of adults waited more than six weeks between first contact and completion of a community care assessment (Based on 15 local authorities). 35% of younger adults waited for longer than 6 weeks, compared with 24% of older clients.
  • The percentage of younger clients in all eligibility criteria categories receiving a personal care service within less than two weeks following completion of an assessment, declined from 70% in 2019 to 53% in 2023 (Based on 20 local authorities). 60% of older clients waited less than 2 weeks to receive a personal care service.
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