Evidence on Scotland’s adult social care system for people with learning disabilities

The system that delivers social care and support for adults with learning disabilities in Scotland is not doing enough to enable people to live safe, secure and fulfilling lives. This is the clear finding from our analysis in this, our latest report, on adults with learning disabilities in Scotland.

This is not necessarily through want of trying. The last thirty years have seen enormous changes in how people with learning disabilities are supported in society, with a shift from people living in long stay hospitals to community-based support. There have been new initiatives to improve people’s choice of care, a move to align their health and social care support, and an ambitious plan articulated by the Scottish Government that recognised that more needed to be done to help people realise their human rights.

This report is being published in the same week as the Scottish Government’s Review of Adult Social Care. Our research looks in more detail at the experience of those with learning disabilities and those who work in Health and Social Care Partnerships that provide support. Our research echoes many of the sentiments expressed in that review but in responding to the review, it is important that the Scottish Government understands that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whilst there may be common issues across the whole of the social care sector, the experience of people with a learning disability are very different from others and no two people with learning disabilities are the same.

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An easy read version of this report is available here.


Emma Congreve is a Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.

Knowledge Exchange Associate at the Fraser of Allander Institute

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The Fraser of Allander Institute is delighted to embark on this long-term project aiming to shine a light on the support systems in place for adults with learning disabilities in Scotland – both from government and wider society.