Social Work Scotland response to consultation about social work and care financial statistics
The Scottish Government has consulted on further changes to the local authority financial return (LFR03) which collects annual statistics about social work and care expenditure.
Social Work Scotland is concerned that valuable information is being lost which is not available elsewhere. Previous changes in 2020, largely in response to COVID19 pressures on councils, reduced the data collected about spending to meet the needs of older people, adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health problems, or other needs for help. This financial information is needed by planners and researchers to understand social work and care financial trends, and can also be used to assess the funding needed to meet demographic changes in Scotland.
The Scottish Government now proposes to stop collecting national expenditure statistics on care for these groups of people, but only for “Adult Social Care” as a whole. The reason given is that the quality of such data is poor. But rather than just delete the collection of this data, Social Work Scotland believes that solutions can be developed to solve the quality problems, as we set out in our submission. We are willing to assist the Scottish Government and other partners in work to improve the data quality of this key information. Elsewhere, the Scottish Government has acknowledged that better planning and management information will be needed for the new National Care Service, and it is essential that this includes improved financial information.
You can download our full response to the left.