Self Directed Support
In November 2010, the Scottish Government published Self-directed support: A National Strategy for Scotland (Scottish Government, 2010). This 10-year strategy seeks to achieve a cultural shift in the delivery of support that views people as equal citizens with rights and responsibilities. Self-Directed Support (SDS) encourages service users to choose, organise and control their social care support in a way that suits them. It is important to note that the values and principles underpinning SDS include the requirement that everyone is provided with unbiased information about the choices available to them. In order to make informed choices about how to spend personal budgets, service users and carers require access to reliable sources of information and advice:
Good information and advice, practical support, appropriate housing options, and joint working between health and social care can assist people in living fulfilled and independent lives, thereby reducing the number of people entering or requiring ongoing support from social and/or health care.
An additional driver for change was provided by the Christie Commission report (Scottish Government 2011) in June 2011.
Unless Scotland embraces a radical, new, collaborative culture throughout our public services, both budgets and provision will buckle under the strain.
Scotland's public services need to be designed with the person receiving them at the centre. The approach must be bottom-up, identifying what individuals and communities actually need and, from there, working out the services that will best fit those needs. Top-down delivery of uniform, one-size-fits-all services is not efficient, effective - or sustainable. And that means getting individuals and communities involved in the design of those services.