Your rights as someone needing care

Last updated: 22 July 2019

Assessment of your care needs

You have a right to an assessment of your care needs from your local council's social work or social care department.

If care is mainly provided for you by a relative or friend who isn't paid to do this, they also have the right to have an assessment of their ability to care and be involved in the assessment of your needs.

A carer is also entitled to an assessment of their own community care needs.

Care services

When you buy services, like paying for someone to help you with cleaning your home, the law gives you certain rights as a consumer. It's important you know your rights and you're confident about enforcing them.

You're entitled to expect that a service will be:

  • carried out with reasonable care and skill
  • finished by the date you have agreed with the person providing the service
  • provided at the cost you have agreed beforehand
  • provided by someone who has had the correct disclosure checks from Disclosure Scotland or is on the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme

Find out more on Citizens Advice Bureau's Adviceguide, which provides welfare and consumer rights information like benefits, tax, health, housing and civil rights.

Complain about care services

If you're unhappy with the level of service you receive from a care service provider, you have the right to complain.

There are National Care Standards that tell you what standards you can expect of a service.

Find out more about complaining or feeding back about care.


You have the right to have an advocate present who can support you in situations where you need to make your wishes heard, like during an assessment of your care needs or a complaints hearing.

Find out more about advocacy and finding an advocate.

Power of attorney

You have the right to appoint a welfare or financial attorney to make decisions on your behalf.

The Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) can provide advice and guidance. Phone 01324 678 300 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Read more about setting up power of attorney.

Care legislation

There's also legislation that covers the provision of community care.

Find out more about legislation protecting people in care.