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Jess Wade, SDSS Manager: Reflecting on 2018.

Portrait image of Jess Wade, SDSS Manager

Winding down before the seasonal break gives a chance to reflect on the whirlwind of 2018, and what a busy year that was!

For SDSS, we have had lots successes, developing new work and building on tried and tested approaches. We had the opportunity to host a well attended and vibrant National Voice event in March, focusing on SDS good practice, and we hope you will be able to join us for the National Voice 2019 #SDSNV19.

We were delighted to work with the Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland on the development on the new Support in the Right Direction (SiRD 2021) fund and even more delighted that this work has resulted in a new fund for local, independent support running to March 2021. This has meant an increase in membership for SDSS, giving us an even stronger voice to represent SDS support organisations across Scotland.

Over the Summer we welcomed our latest staff member, Dr Dianne Theakstone, and developed a partnership with the Health and Social Care Alliance, to carry out more research into service user’s experiences of SDS. Our hope is that this project will show what is working well with SDS and what needs to change, and lead to the constructive, local conversations that need to happen to bring about that change. 

We know that SDS remains under the spotlight in terms of policy and look forward to reports from the Care Inspectorate’s thematic review of SDS, which took place across six local authorities earlier this year. Meantime, another report from Audit Scotland highlighted the need for significant work still around health and social care integration All of this together reminds us of the huge importance not only of the work on the new SDS Implementation Plan (there is still time to contribute to the survey here) but also the upcoming Adult Social Care Reform programme.

2019 will be another busy year, and we will work to ensure that you and your members have the fullest opportunity to engage and contribute to the SDS and social care agenda at every level. For SDSS, we will be looking at how best to continue our work and have started thinking about this with support from the team at Wren & Greyhound and their Lasting Difference approach. We have todaY launch our new website, which we believe offers our best yet in terms of information and support around SDS, with new video FAQs and our brand new searchable database (Click ‘Find Help’ to give it a go!). We welcome your ongoing feedback on all aspects of our work and the support that we provide, and very much hope you will be able to join us in Stirling on 13th March for the National Voice 2019.

All the very best for the festive season and beyond

Jess and the team at SDSS.