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Experiences of SDS in Moray

September 1, 2021

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Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) have published a report exploring the experiences of people who access or wish to access Self-directed Support (SDS) in Moray.

This report is part of a suite of Local Authority reports collated during the largest direct consultation of SDS to date – My Support, My Choice: User Experiences of Self-directed Support in Scotland (MSMC). The research also resulted in a separate suite of thematic reports exploring the experiences of people with learning disabilities, Black and minority ethnic people, people with lived experience of mental health problems, blind and partially sighted people, and women as users of SDS.

The national report and the five thematic reports have been quoted in the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, and provided key evidence for Social Work Scotland’s trialling of the new Self-directed Support (SDS) Standards.

My Support My Choice: People’s Experiences of Self-directed Support and Social Care in Moray highlights evidence of good practice and where improvements can be made. We hope it can assist in the strategic planning and delivery of future SDS/ social care in Moray – particularly regarding the development and local implementation of the National Care Service.

Research participants in Moray acknowledged SDS as important to achieving a higher quality of life and independent living and shared a range of positive and negative feedback when asked to summarise their experiences.

The views expressed by research participants and analysis of the findings have led to a number of recommendations, many of which echo other independent reviews of SDS:

  • People need good access to publicly available, high quality information about SDS/ social care, in a range of accessible and tailored formats.
  • Sufficient time must be allocated for needs assessments and review meetings, to allow for detailed questions and consideration of the four SDS options.
  • Further information and training for professionals may be required about the SDS options and supported decision making.
  • Local authorities and health and social care partnerships should work with people who access SDS and unpaid carers to improve systems and processes related to care staff recruitment, training and quality, including diversification of the workforce.
  • Independent advocacy, independent advice and support services need sustainable resources to continue their important role in Moray.

The report also includes a response from Health and Social Care Moray, who said:

“Health and Social Care Moray are committed to making positive changes in Moray, through increasing choice, control and collaborative work with individuals, families and communities to support delivery of better outcomes. […] We welcome feedback from individuals, their families and friends on the report and ideas for improvement.”

The research team are organising an online feedback session with key stakeholders from Moray on Tuesday 14 September from 11am – 1pm.

Please register for the free session and join the conversation as we explore the delivery of SDS at every stage of the process, from first contact, to assessment, establishing eligibility, allocating resources, support planning and reviews.

The input of those living and/or working in Moray is very valuable in discussing next steps.

If you have any questions about the research, please email Dr Hannah Tweed, Senior Policy Officer at the ALLIANCE ( or Mark Han-Johnson, Membership Development Executive at SDSS (