Earlier this year, we completed our membership registration process with 50 organisations committing to supporting the implementation and development of Self-directed Support (SDS) throughout Scotland in 2020/21.
This year, our application process was done online and for the first time, we introduced a fee for membership, following a ‘Charges Working Group’ which provided useful suggestions and feedback around charges.
Part of the application was a feedback form for renewing members, to enable us to review and evaluate the activity of Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and our members.
The feedback collected showed there was overwhelming support for the quality of information and training disseminated by SDSS, with much appreciation for the guidance and advice offered. One member commended the organisation for, as they put it:
“Being there! as a source of assistance on individual issues – however small”.
Another key function highlighted was the incremental development of a collective of organisations working in SDS, another member saying:
“SDS Scotland has been great at circulating information and connecting up organisations who are involved in promoting SDS across Scotland”.
Members have also identified some things they’d like SDSS to do (or do more of) which is being fed into our implementation strategy. Examples include:
- Support to advise members on how to use SDS more effectively to access their services and those of partner organisations.
We will offer a range of training opportunities to all members, including training on SDS and how this works in practise for both supported people and carers, as well as the expectations that people can have from the relevant legislation and guidance. SDSS also hosts a national database for Independent SDS Information and Support organisations.
- Support from SDSS by email and telephone.
We will continue to respond to any enquiry from a member organisation, by email, telephone, and social media.
- To develop a forum/training/events.
We’re currently working on a Forum for members and stakeholders, where they can share best practice and have conversations about SDS and social care. More information will be shared in January 2021. We have also delivered training and information sessions online throughout the year and are currently finalising a programme of events for 2021. You can keep up to date with our events here.
- Comparing the situation across the country and highlighting common issues to the Scottish Government.
We support members to engage with national developments, such as the Review of Adult Social Care and the development of Standards for Good SDS, so that Scottish Government and others can learn about members’ wider experience.
- Information for PA employers on website.
We are working with members to update the PA Employer Handbook which will then be available to PA Employers across Scotland.
- Continuing to engage with individuals and local authorities through research to improve the implementation of SDS.
We will continue the ‘My Support, My Choice’ project in 2021, looking at the actual experience of people trying to access and make use of SDS and their carers, across all parts of Scotland. This enables lived experience to influence future SDS implementation.