Social Care Services, Scotland, 2015

Latest national figures for Social Care services provided or purchased by Local Authorities in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection

5. Background information on the collection of the data

5.1 Social Care Survey

Figure 28: Services recorded in 2015 Social Care Survey, and number of clients*

Figure 28: Services recorded in 2015 Social Care Survey, and number of clients

All the new data presented in this release was collected through the 2015 Social Care Survey. This is the third year of the survey, which replaced the previously separate Home Care and Direct Payments data collections (see 5.2).

The data is supplied by all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland, who collect this information as part of their Social Care Management Information system and is submitted to Scottish Government via a secure web-based system called ProcXed. The ProcXed system reduces administrative burdens and increases the speed, ease and accuracy (via inbuilt validation checks) of information exchange.

Information is returned for every person who has had a Social Care assessment and receives or uses:

During the Census Week (any week including 31 March 2015):

  • Home Care services, including re-ablement services
  • Meals services (provided or purchased by the local authority);
  • Housing Support services;
  • OPTIONAL - other services e.g. Shopping, Laundry.

During the financial year 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015:

  • Community Alarms / other Telecare services (this was previously only collected for the census week);
  • Services or support provided through Self-Directed Support, including Direct Payments;
  • Social Worker / support worker services

5.2 Data collection prior to 2013

The 'Home Care Census' collected annual statistics on the number of people receiving a home help or Home Care service at the end of March each year. From March 2010, the statistics were collected at the individual level, having previously been collected through an aggregate data return. See for more detail on the survey design and collection.

The "Self-Directed Support (Direct Payments)" Survey collected annual statistics on the number of people who receive direct payments to purchase the care that they need. It should be noted that this collection was focused solely on Direct Payments, and not Self-Directed Support as it is now defined (see section on Self-Directed Support below). These statistics relate to everyone who received a Direct Payment during the relevant financial year and from 2010 onwards have been collected at the individual level, having previously been collected through an aggregate data return.

See for more detail on the survey design and collection.

5.3 Self-Directed Support Act

The Self-Directed Support Act was introduced in Scotland in April 2014 (see for details). Self-Directed Support (SDS) gives people control over an individual budget and allows them to choose how that money is spent on the support and services they need to meet their agreed health and social care outcomes.

Self-Directed Support allows people to choose a number of different options for getting support. The person's individual budget can be:

  • SDS Option 1: Taken as a Direct Payment (a cash payment). Information on Direct Payments has been collected since 2001 and is reported on in this publication.
  • SDS Option 2: Allocated to a provider that the person chooses. The council holds the budget but the person is in charge of how it is spent (this is sometimes called an individual service fund); or
  • SDS Option 3: the person can choose a council arranged service; or
  • SDS Option 4: the person can choose a mix of these options for different types of support

Over time all Social Care and support will transition to being focused on achieving personal outcomes. This presents challenges for the reporting and comparability of Social Care data: increasing numbers of people will be directing their own support rather than services being provided directly for them. It is expected that in future this publication will become more focused on Social Care clients, what their needs are, their individual budget and the options that they choose.

More information on Self-Directed Support is available at:

5.4 Revisions to previous years' figures

There have been no revisions to figures from the Social Care Services, Scotland, 2014 publication.

5.5 Data Quality Issues

Direct Payments (Self-Directed Support Option 1)

The data quality issues in this report are primarily due to implementation of the Self-Directed Support Act (see 5.3), and the resulting change to recording systems carried out by Local Authorities. This mainly affects the figures for Direct Payments, now SDS Option 1:

  • East Renfrewshire council were unable to submit any data on Direct Payments or the other SDS options. The Scotland-level figures for both the number of clients receiving Direct Payments and expenditure have therefore been adjusted to account for this missing data and to ensure comparability with previous years. This was done by "scaling-up" the 2014 East Renfrewshire figures based on the change between 2014 and 2015 in the other 31 Local Authorities, then adding the scaled-up figure to the Scotland total.
  • Scottish Borders and Falkirk councils have stated that some clients who were previously recorded as receiving Direct Payments have not been captured under the new SDS system as SDS Option 1. This has resulted in an apparent drop in Direct Payments clients in these authorities between 2014 and 2015. This has a minimal effect on the Scotland figures.
  • In 2015 Local Authorities were asked to record the expenditure for Self-Directed Support as the Gross value of the budget allocated within the reporting year. Argyll & Bute and West Lothian councils have stated that they were unable to supply Gross expenditure figures and so supplied Net expenditure (i.e. net of any client contribution) figures instead. These figures have been included within the Scotland level expenditure totals.

Meals Services

Data on Meals services has proved difficult for Local Authorities to capture and so the charts presented in this report have been provided for information on the data collection, rather than an exact number of the people in Scotland receiving Meals services. Four local authorities did not supply data on Meals services (East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh City, Eilean Siar and Glasgow City).

5.6 Client groupings

Since 2010, Local Authorities have been able to provide multiple client groups for each person. In this publication, where a local authority returned multiple client groups, in order to avoid double counting clients have been allocated to the group that appears first in the list below:

1. Dementia
2. Mental Health Problems
3. Learning Disability
4. Learning Disability and Physical Disability
5. Physical Disability
6. Frail older people
7. Other vulnerable groups (including Addiction, Palliative Care and Carer's)
8. Not known

For example, if a client has dementia and has a physical disability, then they will appear in the dementia client group (as this appears higher in the list) for the purpose of analysis.

It should be noted that Local Authorities vary in how they record people whose reason for receiving a service is frailty due to old age. Some record this as 'physical disability' while others record as 'frail older people'. Therefore when looking at the older age groups these two client groups are best considered together when comparing statistics for different local authorities.

It is also important to note that "Dementia" is known to be under-recorded in social care management information systems.

5.7 Community Alarm and other Telecare services

From 2015, Local Authorities were asked to collect information on all people receiving a Community Alarm / Telecare service at any time during the financial year 2014-15. This information was previously asked only for the March census week.

Telecare is the remote or enhanced delivery of care services to people in their own home by means of telecommunications and computerised services. Telecare usually refers to sensors or alerts which provide continuous, automatic and remote monitoring of care needs emergencies and lifestyle changes, using information and communication technology (ICT) to trigger human responses, or shut down equipment to prevent hazards (Source: National Telecare Development Programme, Scottish Government). Community Alarms are considered to be the basic, introductory level of Telecare.

Community Alarm is defined as: A person in receipt of a technology package which consists of a communication hub (either individual home hub unit or part of a communal system e.g. the alarm system within sheltered housing), plus a button/pull chords/pendant which transfers an alert/alarm/data to a monitoring centre or individual responder.

Telecare is defined as: A person in receipt of a technology package which goes over and above the basic community alarm package identified above, and includes any other sensors or monitoring equipment e.g. (not an exhaustive list):

  • linked pill dispensers,
  • linked smoke detectors,
  • linked key safes,
  • bogus caller buttons and door entry systems,
  • property exit sensors, extreme temperature, flood, falls, movement detectors.

Standalone devices and pieces of equipment are not be considered 'Telecare' for the purpose of this return i.e. they should be capable of alerting/providing information to a monitoring centre or individual responder and should generally be 'linked' to the home hub or communal alarm system.

5.8 Other data sources

In order to calculate rates per population, the National Records of Scotland mid-year population estimates have been used. For 2015 rates, the 2014 mid-year population estimates have been used as these are the latest available.

5.9 Cost of respondent burden

To calculate the cost of respondent burden to this survey each Local Authority was asked to provide an estimate of the time taken in hours to extract the requested information and complete the survey form. The average time from 29 Local Authorities has then been used within the calculation below to calculate that the total cost of responding to this survey is £38,000.

Calculation to calculate the total cost of responding to this survey


Email: Steven Gillespie

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