SDS and Scottish Care

Scottish Care is committed to ensuring that the Self-Directed Support legislation is fully enacted and implemented in the work of our membership. This commitment has included the delivery of the Getting It Right With/For Older People project in North Ayrshire and in the Highlands. This project has now come to an end and a report on the project can be read at

Policy: and Publications

In Control Scotland, supported by Scottish Care and Alzheimer Scotland, has published a call to action for everyone involved in the delivery of Self-Directed Support (SDS).

Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right highlights the unacceptable gulf that exists between the human rights-based approach of Scotland’s landmark SDS legislation of 2013 and the experience of individuals across Scotland who access social care. Irrespective of the potential for radical change this legislation offers, the reality is deeply flawed; this vital new approach to social care delivery is being systematically undermined by poor understanding (by both public and professionals), inconsistent delivery, significant difficulty of access and no discernible shift in power towards the individual.

Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right has been authored by John Dalrymple (Chief Executive, In Control Scotland), Donald Macaskill (Chief Executive, Scottish Care) and Henry Simmons (Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland).

Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right also outlines the importance of recognising the rights of Scotland’s increasingly marginalised social care workforce in supporting the choice, power and control that underpins the individual’s right to SDS.

In introducing the document, Dr Donald Macaskill said:

“For the SDS legislation to make the change it is designed to, we need robust implementation that respects the human rights of all who use and work in care and support.  Our report shows we are a long way from achieving that ambition.”

Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right makes seven key recommendations:

  1. That the Scottish Government ensures that all partners develop a human rights-based approach to the implementation of SDS and a human rights-based monitoring of the implementation of SDS and that the Scottish Human Rights Commission be resourced and supported to undertake an assessment of this human-rights based implementation.
  2. The accountability of local and national government for implementing SDS must be enforced.
  3. Local authorities must move away from the time-allocation method of care assessment and delivery, which will always be at odds with any effective or meaningful implementation of SDS.
  4. The use of electronic and other contract monitoring systems need to be examined in relation not only to fiscal savings but the negative impacts these have upon the well-being of the workforce and the dignity and rights of those receiving support. A rights-based approach to SDS has to be based on reciprocal trust and mutual respect rather than suspicion and distrust.
  5. Access to information, and to all four SDS options, must be made available consistently across local authorities and in an independent, non-discriminatory way.
  6. The Fair Work Framework should be used as a method of ensuring that individual workers’ rights are reciprocated and protected. This framework should be implemented and used by commissioning bodies, organisations and individual employers.
  7. Greater focus needs to be placed on developing models of care and support that give autonomy, control, choice and decision-making to frontline workers and those whom they support rather than commissioners and contract managers.

In the Highlands, the  Getting It Right With Older People (GIRWOP) project listened to people who are involved with SDS in Mid Ross and using their thoughts and experiences of SDS, created an advice booklet for others called Seven Self-Directed Support Suggestions: Elderly Armchair Advice: 

A short film was also created in the Highlands telling Norma's Story of the difference that SDS Option 2 has made to her life:


Care Cameo

Scottish Care has launched a new series of discussion documents. These Care Cameos are written by invited authors with a particular insight on an issue. The first of these was entitled ‘Meaningful Days’ and is an exploration on the potential of Self-directed Support for older people who use day opportunities. It was written by Louise Close who ahs extensive experience both in Scotland and across the United Kingdom in personalisation, self-directed support and individual rights. It can be read at