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End of year message from our Chief Executive

Season's greetings from SDSS

2020 has been a year of change and resilience for many, including Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS).

Having joined the organisation in August, I have been proud to be part of a movement of independent support which has responded so effectively to a global crisis, adapting to meet the needs of people accessing or trying to access social care through Self-directed Support (SDS), while continuing to address the inequalities highlighted by a system under strain.

I am also proud to say that we’ve continued to focus on strategic national work, provided tailored support to members, engaged funders and decision makers, and have started to tackle some of the major strategic challenges facing SDS including the 66 recommendations in our national research report ‘My Support, My Choice’, in partnership with the ALLIANCE.

Although the opportunity for meeting our members and key stakeholders face to face was reduced due to the pandemic, we embraced the opportunity to bring people together online for training and our AGM. I hope that as the vaccine programme rolls out across the country and the virus starts to ease, that I can get out and meet everyone to continue to build our relationships and work towards true implementation of SDS in Scotland.

We’ve also welcomed the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, chaired by Derek Feeley, former Director General of Health and Social Care in the Scottish Government. An expert panel has been appointed to report by January 2021, so we are delighted that Mr Feeley was able to engage with our membership as part of our AGM in November. This engagement has continued, and we have maximised every opportunity to influence the review.

As SDSS looks to the future, we are developing and strengthening partnerships with an increased focus on quality. Some projects you’ll hear more about in the coming year include the Social Work Scotland’s ‘Standards for SDS’, a PA Employers’ Resource and an online discussion forum for all members and stakeholders to share their expertise on everything SDS and an area for SDS users to find the answers and support they need.

I would like to thank our members for their collective, and individual support, of individuals exercising choice and control in directing their own support, during this unprecedented challenging year and look forward to working in partnership with you all as we emerge from the pandemic in 2021.

The team and I at Self Directed Support Scotland hope you all have a safe and happy festive break and a hopeful New Year.

Donald Macleod,
Chief Executive, SDSS