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Self-Directed Support

The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 came into force on 1st April 2014. Self-Directed Support (SDS) is the way that social care is delivered to individuals who have eligible care needs across Scotland. The main principle of SDS is to provide individuals who require social care support with more choice and control over their lives and how their support is delivered.

On a national scale SDS is part of a wider personalisation agenda set out to create a healthier nation with stronger and safer communities. The values behind SDS are closely linked with those of independent living and it is ultimately about promoting confidence and wellbeing for those with an assessed need.

Self-Directed Support in South Ayrshire

What options are available with SDS?

There are four ways in which you can choose to direct your care and support. The options available are:

Option 1: Direct Payment

You are provided with cash payment equivalent to the traditional level of service you have been assessed as requiring to meet your outcomes. The payment is made to you directly into a bank account or to a third party on your behalf. You can use this payment to purchase services that meet the outcomes as set out in your support plan. Our fact-sheet on Option 1 has further information.

Option 2: Individual Service Fund

You can choose who you want to provide your support and you will have regular dialogue with the provider of your care to tailor the support to meet your agreed outcomes. The Local Authority or the provider holds your budget but you have choice and control around how the service is delivered.

Option 3: Direct Service

The local authority selects a support provider and arranges how the service is delivered.

Option 4: A Combination

You can have a mix of options one to three. For example you can a provider for basic care needs (option 2) and a personal assistant (Option 1) for social support.

Who can receive Self-Directed Support?

Self-Directed Support will be offered to all individuals in South Ayrshire who following an assessment have eligible needs to receive social care support. On completion of the assessment or a review of existing service provision you will be offered the four SDS options. The options will be discussed and explained to you and you can make an informed choice about how your care and support is delivered. The options are designed to provide choice, control and flexibility to individuals with regards to how and who provides them with the care and support they require.

The Key Principles of Self-Directed Support are:

  • Choice
  • Control
  • Flexibility
  • Independence

How do I access Self-Directed Support?

In order to establish if you are eligible to receive Self-Directed Support you will need to be assessed by social services. In South Ayrshire Council there are a number of stages to the assessment process and these are explained below.

  1. Service access/screening - At this stage a referral is made and the assessor will gather and assess the relevant information provided. This part of the process is based on a good conversation and also determines your eligibility (and level of priority) to progress to a formal assessment. It may be agreed at this stage to signpost your referral to another relevant service and you will be fully informed of this decision. If it is decided you require further assessment then you will be notified and a date to carry out a more in-depth joint assessment will be set.
  2. SDS joint assessment - The Joint Assessment is a comprehensive assessment of your needs. This will include questions covering your health and wellbeing and how you access your local community. If there is a person who cares for you on a regular basis they will also be involved at this stage. The assessment will be completed with you and the assessor exchanging information. When the assessment is complete it will be determined if you have eligible needs in line with our  Fair Access to Care Services (Word doc) [735KB] (opens new window)  policy. If you have eligible needs the assessor will discuss these with you and explain to you the four SDS options. This will enable you to make an informed choice about how you want to receive your support.
  3. Support planning - The support plan follows the Joint Assessment with the main purpose of setting out the outcomes you want to achieve. It will include your existing assets and who needs to be involved in your care and support including any relevant timescales. A support plan will also include a contingency plan detailing what will be required if there is a significant change in your situation for example someone who cares for you is unavailable.
  4. Monitoring and review - The purpose of monitoring and review is to ensure the outcomes agreed in the support plan are being met and there have been no significant changes. A review of your support will take place a minimum of once a year but in some situations more frequently. The review will focus on the care and support you receive to ensure it is being delivered to meet the outcomes as set out in the support plan. At the review you will be asked if you wish to continue with your current SDS option. You may decide that you don't wish to continue with the option chosen and this can be changed at the review stage.

How can I find out more about Self-Directed Support?

If you are already in receipt of social care support services funded that are funded or delivered by the Council, you can contact your lead practitioner for more information about SDS.

If you are not currently in receipt of care and support, but would like more information there are local contact details at the bottom of this page.

In South Ayrshire, our vision is for SDS is to provide choice, control and flexibility for individuals and their carers who require social care support. This means choice around how your care is provided and control over when it is provided so that it contributes to your quality of life. The flexibility offered by SDS can also ensure you can continue to be a part of your local community.

Useful information

If you have any further queries regarding SDS here are some useful contacts:
South Ayrshire Council
Telephone: 0300 123 0900

Irene McCurdie
Lead Officer Self-Directed Support

View our current  SDS Policy 2022-2023 (PDF) [826KB] (opens new window)

SDS Guidance

Easy Read Resources