Transforming health and social care in Scotland

Audit Scotland supports the improvement of public services by looking at how public money is spent, and whether policies are achieving desired outcomes for individuals and bodies. We carry out extensive work on Scotland’s health and social care services, which face challenges from reducing budgets, increasing demand, and an ageing population.

We also report annually on the financial performance of councils and NHS bodies, such as health boards, and integration authorities, on behalf of the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission.

The hub below sets out more information on our work in this important area.


Key facts

Key facts - drug costs and savings planned
Key facts - budget and people receiving homecare

Key facts

  • 7.1% increase drug costs between 2014/15 and 2015/16
  • £445 million savings planned by health boards in 2017/18
  • £10.8 billion estimated annual value of 788,000 unpaid carers' contribution
  • Estimated 18-29% increase need for health and social care services by 2030
  • 1.5 million hospital procedures performed in 2016/17
  • 21,700 people receiving 10+ hours homecare per week in 2014


Our reports feature several exhibits that visualise complex data and processes in an accessible and informative way. See the examples below or click on our reports to find more.

Planning levels in the Scottish health system
Planning levels in the Scottish health system
How authorities work with individuals to assess their needs and arrange support
How authorities work with individuals to assess their needs and arrange support
Workforce pressures in the NHS
Workforce pressures in the NHS

Reports and Blogs

Other resources

nhs in scotland 2018

Overview of the NHS for 2018

The podcast for our report on the NHS in Scotland 2018 discusses the pressures and demands on the NHS, and the impact these are having. We've also produced a checklist, which is designed for non-executive directors to help with their role in overseeing the performance of NHS boards.

  Download the podcast - PDF 6Mb 

  Download the checklist - PDF 195Kb 

What is integration?

What is integration?

Our short guide summarises some of the key information from our first report on health and social care integration, and outlines how Integration Authorities are structured and function.

  Download the guide - PDF 2.1Mb 

health boards' spending and performance

Health boards' spending and performance

Our interactive graphic from our NHS in Scotland 2018 report includes trends in activity and demand, key performance standards and rates of sickness and turnover.

self-directed support

Self-directed support

We published our report Self-directed support: 2017 progress report in August 2017. It included an easy-to-read summary of the report, and the results of the survey we undertook to hear from people using self-directed support.

  Download the easy-to-read summary - PDF 154Kb  

  Download the survey results - PDF 496Kb 

social work in Scotland

Social work services: views of users and carers

For our report on Social work in Scotland, we produced a supplement on the views of people and their carers using social work services.

  Download the supplement - PDF 433Kb 

changing models of health and social care

Case studies: New models of health and social care

We have identified a number of new care models introduced across Scotland that are designed to deliver more care to people in community settings in line with the 2020 Vision.

  Read the case studies - PDF 843Kb 


Annual audits of councils and health bodies

Audit Scotland annually reviews the financial performance and processes of more than 200 public bodies. The Auditor General may also prepare a Section 22 report for the Parliament if any specific concerns or issues have been raised in the audit of a public body. Find out about the performance of health and social care organisations in your local area.

Get in touch

To discuss Audit Scotland’s work on health and social care or let us know what you think about this page, please contact:

Leigh Johnston, Senior Manager

Jillian Matthew, Senior Manager