Social Security client and experience panels research: effects of the coronavirus pandemic on communication preferences

A report of findings from research with client and experience panels about communication preferences.

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What's next?

The Scottish Government will continue to work with the Experience Panels in the design and development of Scotland's social security system. Research with Client Panels will continue to provide insight about clients' experience and support Social Security Scotland's continuous improvement.

The findings in this report will be used by teams working in a range of areas in both Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland.

Insights about communication preferences and views about meeting Social Security Scotland in person will inform the design and delivery of local delivery services. These services provide help and support to clients in their local areas across Scotland. This includes promoting the take-up of Social Security Scotland benefits and supporting clients through the application process.

Where clients prefer in person interactions either in a venue or in their own home, measures are in place to relieve concerns and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission. This includes guidance and PPE products. Safety checklists are also used to prompt safety discussions. Checklists cover things like the ability to maintain physical distance and ensure clients and their household members are not displaying signs of COVID-19 or not self-isolating.

Social Security Scotland staff involved in meeting clients in person are encouraged to enable the NHS Protect Scotland app on their mobiles during working hours. These staff are also encouraged to consider regular lateral flow testing using the free kits available to the whole Scottish population.

Preferences and views about video calls will inform the development of the Social Security Scotland video call service.

The research will also be helpful for work to make Social Security Scotland work in ways that prioritise the needs and wellbeing of clients and staff.

The findings will also be used to plan and deliver the next stage of the design of consultations for Adult Disability Payment. This includes the development of telephone and video call options. Insights about safety measures when meeting in person will also be used to design and deliver in-person appointments.



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