Dear Lewis


We have today published our review of Adult Social Care Statistics in Scotland. We are using this work as the basis of our submission to the Health and Sport Committee’s Social Care Inquiry (see annex).

Statistics that support our understanding of people who need or provide care, the impact it has on their lives, how the adult social care sector is currently delivered and how this might need to change in the future are an essential element in an ideal model of care. Without adequate statistics it is also impossible to assess the extent to which social care provision is equitable.

Our submission outlines various issues affecting the quality and value of adult social care statistics in Scotland that need to be addressed. Statistics producers have clearly demonstrated their strong understanding of these issues and share many of the concerns that users raised with us. Work is already underway to bring about positive improvements to adult social care data and statistics in Scotland. However, we believe that a major transformation of adult social care data and statistics is needed to fully meet users’ needs and this will require more fundamental action. We have made recommendations in three strategic areas to support this:

  • clearer responsibility for analytical leadership is required to scope and deliver local and national level improvements
  • the imbalance in resources currently available for health service and social care statistics needs to be addressed
  • data systems need investment to improve the quality of existing datasets and to identify ways to capture new data to fill the many gaps that users have identified.

We will continue to work with a range of organisations to make the case for improvements to social care statistics in Scotland and more widely across the UK. We hope to raise the profile of these issues through this inquiry submission, the more detailed report about Scotland published today, and via our companion reports about adult social care statistics in England and Wales.

I look forward to seeing the conclusions of your inquiry.

Your sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation

Related links:

Adult Social Care Statistics in Scotland Report (February 2020)

Letter from Ed Humpherson to ISD Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Social Services and Care Inspectorate (February 2020)