The story behind Self-directed Support

About £8 billion was spent on providing social care last year, and as the public spending watchdog, we’re really interested in what that funding is achieving for the people who deliver and use these vital services. We’ve done a lot of audit work in this area already, and we’ve reported that these services face tough challenges, like coping with rising demand alongside financial pressures.

Under the policy of Self-directed Support (SDS), people accessing social care services are able to choose where, when and how they receive care. This was a major change to the way services were delivered and, when the legislation first kicked in, Audit Scotland reported on how ready the Scottish Government and local authorities were to implement the new way of working.

Just over two years on, we want to see how well things are going. I’m part of the team carrying out Audit Scotland’s latest review of self-directed support, on behalf of the Auditor General and the Accounts Commission.

At this crucial early stage of the new approach, it’s very important for us to understand what’s being delivered for the people who need support. So we’ve launched a survey asking users, their carers, friends and family to share their stories of using SDS in 2016 and 2017.

We want to hear about your journey, from approaching the authorities for help, to having your support needs assessed, to making choices about how you’re supported and agreeing a care plan.

Did you feel your needs were understood by the assessor? Were you given a range of options? How is your support managed now? Were you ultimately satisfied with the outcome?

Your experiences will be invaluable to us in understanding how the changes to social care are affecting people. It’ll help us shine a light on what’s working well, and what still needs to be improved, as we pull together our key findings and judgements.

You can share as much or as little detail as you like, and if you’d rather talk to us in person about an issue you’ve highlighted in the survey, we’d love to hear from you – just include your contact details.

We’ll run the survey until the 27th February, so please share the questionnaire with other users and carers, so we can gather as many stories as possible.

Thank you for your support.

About the author


Zoe McGuire, Auditor, joined Audit Scotland in January 2014. She has been involved in auditing community partnerships at national and local level, as well as Best Value audits of East Dunbartonshire Council and Moray Council. She is part of the team carrying out the 2017 audit of Self-directed Support.

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