About this release

This publication by Public Health Scotland (PHS) presents information on the total number of individuals waiting for an assessment for social care services, the number of people waiting for a package of care at home and the number of hours of care that are being waited for. 

Main points

  • The number of people estimated to be waiting on a social care assessment to enable them to live independently at home or in the community was 6,436 on 3 June 2024.
  • The estimated number of people assessed and waiting for a care at home package was 3,130 on 3 June 2024.
Image caption Number of People waiting for a social care assessment or assessed people waiting for a care at home package in Scotland (estimated)1

1. Please note that due to the data collection being paused over the festive period there are no data for 25 December 2023 or 1 January 2024 in the chart.


Local Authorities provide social care services to enable people to live independently and at home or in a homely setting in their community. This includes people who are frail, have long term conditions or disabilities.

Care at Home services are planned and delivered by Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs), and are delivered through Local Authority in-house teams, independent providers, and the Third Sector. Each Partnership plans its services based on the needs of the local population and on the existing support services available in the Local Authority, such as housing services. Therefore, the services that come under the heading of Care at Home varies across the country.

HSCPs provide PHS with a weekly snapshot of the number of people waiting on a social care assessment and the number of people waiting on Care at Home services. Details of known data issues are available in the Data Quality tab of the People requiring a social care assessment and Care at Home services Dashboard. Comparison between Partnerships should be treated with caution as the services can vary in each area.

PHS has worked in collaboration with the Scottish Government and HSCPs to clarify the definitions of the items in this data collection to improve the consistency of recording. The definition changes came into effect from 15 January 2024 and as a result figures presented for some HSCPs will differ from information presented prior to this date. For more information on the definition changes please see the definition tab of the dashboard and the metadata document. The measures presented in this publication have not changed and figures using the revised definitions are presented in the charts alongside the historical data collected using the old definitions.

Please note prior February 2024 this publication was titled Demand for Care at Home Services.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be 30 July 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Laura Fleming at phs.source@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 14 June 2024
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