Social Security Experience Panels - Seldom Heard research programme: vulnerable groups

This report presents the main findings of the first wave of research with vulnerable groups as part of the ‘Seldom Heard Voices’ research programme.

This document is part of a collection


The Social Security Experience Panels were established by researchers in the Scottish Government in 2017. Scottish Government researchers work with members to bring the voices of those with lived experience into the design of the new social security system in Scotland, as run by Social Security Scotland. There are groups of people with lived experience that are less likely to be represented on the panels, so the "Seldom Heard Voices" research programme was set up to address this gap. It ensures that groups who need to be treated with particular sensitivity and those who are marginalised or dispersed, also have a voice in designing Scotland's social security services.

There are four groups identified as 'Seldom Heard' in this research programme. They are Mobile Populations, Vulnerable Groups, End of Life; and Carers and Care Experienced. For each group two waves of fieldwork are being undertaken.

This is the report for the first wave of the Vulnerable Groups strand. The fieldwork was undertaken by Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research (now Diffley Partnership) between 2019 and 2020. The analysis was carried out by Scottish Government researchers.

A total of 20 participants were interviewed from the following subgroups: 'Military Veterans' (7 participants)[1], people currently or having previously been 'Homeless' (7 participants), and people living with HIV or Hepatitis C infection (6 participants).

The second stage of research is in progress at the time of writing and due to be published in 2022.



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