Weekly Poll – Scottish Government National Outcomes

Each week Disability Equality Scotland sends out a poll question to our members and for the week beginning 7 May 2023, we asked a question about the Scottish Government National Outcomes. Any identifying information within respondents’ comments has been removed.

Please note that this is a snapshot of the views of our membership and does not reflect the policy stance of Disability Equality Scotland. If you plan to reference the findings featured in this report, please contact us in advance so that we are aware of this.

Results– 37 respondents

Question: How much would you say you know about Scotland’s National Performance Framework, from 1 (nothing) to 5 (a lot)? (1-5 Scale)

  • 1 (41%)
  • 2 (24%)
  • 3 (14%)
  • 4 (11%)
  • 5 (11%)

Question: Do the current set of National Outcomes fully describe the kind of Scotland you want to see?

  • Yes – 43%
  • No – 57%


We asked our members for their views on what they would change about the National Outcomes. We have provided verbatim comments where appropriate to illustrate strength of feeling or personal experience.


A number of respondents believed that there should be more direct reference to the inclusion of disabled people in the national outcomes. This includes actions that are linked to the outcomes that will tackle inequality, discrimination and exclusion. One respondent referenced greater access to justice through accessible law centres and solicitors that have specialist knowledge in equality for disabled people.

“A reference to the inclusion of disabled people would be a much welcome step forward.”

“I think more needs to be done for disabled people. Not just highlight the negative side but draw attention to positive discrimination. This is just as prevalent as negative discrimination yet virtually unheard of.”

“I’d like to see discrimination against disabled people tackled proactively by considering diversity and inclusivity in planning rather than reactively.”

“I would like to see a law centre with specialists in disability as there are hardly any at the moment. It should be a case of making an appointment initially with a solicitor and then looking at the possible legal actions. Not how it is now by having to convince someone who is difficult to hear or as a person who does not really know what the main points are to put forward.”


Some respondents believed that the existing health outcome must evolve so that it is more robust and reflects the significant challenges faced by the NHS, including how this links in with private healthcare.

“You have to support the patients as well as the NHS. As soon as a patient is dismissed from hospital, that doesn’t mean they are on their own to deal with any future needs themselves. The private sector of the health system should also be made to stick to rules or laws and not be left to do whatever they want.”

“Health needs to tie closely with supporting the NHS in a meaningful way. The pandemic highlighted how much stress the NHS is under due to many years of being understaffed and underfunded.”

“The NHS is so important, and I would like to see more direct reference to supporting staff and patients and doing so in a kind, caring and dignified way.”

One respondent believed there should be a dedicated national outcome for mental health to address the root causes and consequences of complex social issues.

“I want to see a separate national outcome for mental health. A lot of the ills in Society, e.g., substance abuse, alcoholism, criminality, gambling addiction, poverty, domestic abuse, etc have poor mental health. By improving diagnosis, making treatment patient centric, providing early intervention, educating the public on preventative techniques and supporting everyone who needs it, we can make savings in criminal justice, in physical health, improve educational attainment, improve employment outcomes, and reduce economic inactivity.”


One respondent stated that there should be more direct reference to care in the National Performance Framework. Disability Equality Scotland has supported a campaign led by Oxfam Scotland, which is calling for a National Outcome on care. The campaign recognises that those who experience and provide care, including paid care workers, unpaid carers, and parents, have been undervalued for too long, with many facing deep financial and personal pressures.

“There should be one on care – it is not enough just to have one on health. It misses everything about what disabled people need to live good lives and the same for people who provide care.”

“Carers are forgotten about time and time again. A specific National Outcome on care would help to rectify this.”

Accessible Formats

There were calls to ensure that the National Outcomes incorporate the principles of Inclusive Communication and are available in accessible formats. For example, some people may require information in formats such as audio, braille, British Sign Language, Easy Read or large print.

“Make them accessible. One thing that really, really annoys me about this is the fact that one element of the National Outcomes covers human rights and disability discrimination. I can’t find any accessible versions of these documents – no BSL, no Easy Read.”

“How can the National Outcomes claim to be respecting the rights of disabled people when we’re not considered worthy of being able to read the results – it’s the same old case of “we know better than you”. If the National Outcomes framework itself discriminates, how can they expect other organisations and people not to discriminate?”

“If this is to be an inclusive set of outcomes, then they must be in plain English, no jargon and lots of different accessible formats.”


In order for the National Outcomes to be successful, respondents highlighted that they must be supported by meaningful action. It is also important that there are open and transparent processes in place to monitor the progress of the National Outcomes.

“Have these things put into law and enforced even if it is a government not following these laws. Far too often policies are put in place but then conveniently ignored by the people who put them in place. Also there needs to be a specific timeframe for when they will be in place instead of a vague timeline, people need these things now not in 5 years.”

“The National Outcomes must be supported by legislation and funding so that genuine progress is made.”

“It’s all rhetoric, soundbites to make government seem they are actually doing things to help people, education, economy etc. Words need to be put into action!”

“I would add the word ‘responsible’ to the first paragraph about children and wherever it can be added throughout the National Outcomes, because until people are taught that they must be and take responsibility for their decisions and actions, all the aims are meaningless.”


When commenting on the National Outcomes, respondents believed that there needs to be more direct reference to disabled people, and how this can lead towards meaningful action to address inequality, discrimination, and exclusion. For the existing Health outcome, respondents believed that this must evolve further so that it reflects the significant challenges faced by the NHS. There were calls for specific outcomes to be added for mental health and care as a means of addressing existing challenges. The National Outcomes must incorporate the principles of Inclusive Communication and be available in a range of accessible formats. A robust and transparent process is a key requirement for monitoring the progress of the National Outcomes.