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The SDSS Blog

New Research on SDS Implementation published

Date posted: August 10, 2018

Providers and Personalisation: New Research report into the Barriers and Enablers for Self-directed Support implementation.

Their Report covered 5 Local Authority areas and they interviewed 35 people with roles ranging across strategic, operational, commissioning and front-line positions, from a range of urban and rural areas.

Their conclusions of the Barriers to SDS Implementation include:

  • Internal barriers within the Local Authority – including the complexity in changing practise
  • Capacity and sustainability of providers to deliver support in current financial circumstances
  • Recruitment and retention of staff for providers
  • Lack of provision meaning some people in more remote areas only being able to access Option 1
  • Impact of cuts and an increasing need for support
  • Access to funding to meet assessed need becoming more difficult
  • Variable quality of leadership within Local Authorities
  • Lack of commitment to SDS amongst some Local Authority staff
  • The status and skills of some SDS champions being limited – and a lack of support for them
  • High turnover of personnel
  • Limited training on SDS in Local Authorities
  • Skills gaps when dealing with issues of risk and implementing personal outcomes
  • Finance staff inappropriately questioning SDS expenditure
  • Some Managers not fully engaging with SDS over fears of the misuse of SDS budgets
  • Workload and complexity of service provision required
  • View that Option 3 was for people less able to manage an SDS budget in some way
  • Limited development towards integrating an outcome focused assessment, and actual outcomes, beyond the framework of existing eligibility criteria
  • Lack of support for an Outcomes focused Assessment when it came to the allocation of financial resources
  • Variable ‘buy-in’ from Health to support SDS implementation
  • SDS viewed as an ‘organisational obligation’ in some areas, and a ‘wider philosophical shift’ in others

Some of the suggestions to address the issues highlighted include:

  1. Improve leadership in SDS by encouraging more ‘champions’, with a guaranteed position
  2. Undertake a training needs analysis regarding SDS, including leadership skills, within local authorities.
  3. Develop training that can meet accommodate different levels of knowledge across specialisms
  4. Encourage the development of smaller, more flexible providers in remote communities
  5. Develop more support services among businesses in local communities for those choosing Option 1
  6. Paying the Scottish Living Wage and beyond for adult care workers to resolve recruitment and retention issues
  7. Examining the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC’s) accreditation and training model to assess its suitability for purpose.

You can find a copy of the Research Report here.

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