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SDSS FAQ transcripts.

October 17, 2018

What does SDS mean for individuals? Jess Wade, Self Directed Support Scotland. 

Self-directed Support is Scotland’s mainstream approach to social care, so it’s about having choice and control over the care and support you receive so that you can live your life your way.

How does SDS work? Jess Wade, Self Directed Support Scotland.

There are 4 options for Self-directed Support. Option 1 is where you select and arrange the support that you want and that’s sometimes called a direct payment. Option 2 is where you select the support you want and another organisation for example your Local Authority and independent organisation or your support provider arranges it on your behalf. Option 3 is where you ask your Local Authority to select and arrange the support that’s right for you. You should still have plenty of choice and control within that option. Option 4 is a mix of any of the three options. You can have support along the way to choose between the options from your local Independent Support organisation. If you’re not happy with the option that you’re on you can choose a different option. 

How to access SDS and where to start. Jess Wade, Self Directed Support Scotland.

You’ll need to contact your Local Authority Social Work department to ask for assessment to access Self-directed Support. You can have support from your local Independent Support organisation along the way, and you can find out who your local Independent Support organisation is on the Self Directed Support Scotland website.

What is an assessment? Jess Wade, Self Directed Support Scotland.

An assessment is a meeting with your social worker to talk what social care support can do for you and how it can help you live your life. You can have support to prepare for your assessment from your local Independent Support organisation and you can find them from our website at Self Directed Support Scotland. You might also want to have support from your local independent advocacy organisation and you can find out their contact details on the website of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance. Once you’ve completed the assessment process your social worker will be able to tell you if you are eligible for Self-directed Support. If you’re not eligible your social worker should be able to tell you what other support is available in your area.

What does a good conversation look like? Florence Garabedian, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living. 

A good conversation is about listening, really listening to a person and starting with the person, where a person is. So you are in a bad place well okay you have the space to talk about it. You have aspirations you have the place to talk about it. It’s about really asking you what matters to you, what is important to you and once you have created the space for that we can engage in a good conversation. It’s not about me telling you what to go, where to go what to be, it’s about creating the space for you to evolve in your own thinking and take things into account but it’s based really on me listening and asking the right questions to enable you to come together to some kind of resolution or to a place where we can think okay so what do we do now.

What is an outcome? Florence Garabedian, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living.

An outcome is where you would like to be, what you would like to do, it’s about what is important to you. It’s the articulation of that, it’s the articulation of what you had in a good conversation and once you know about your outcome when you have a clear idea for yourself where you want to go, what you want to be ,what you want to do then you can think about what you need to get there.

What is integration and where did it come from? Colin Young, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

Well integration has been thought of in many guises for some time. From the nineties right through to 2014 there has been attempts to integrate health and social care in different forms, however without a legal framework there wasn’t that much impetus to integrate. So in 2010 you had The Christie Commission which looked at putting people at the centre. The recommendations come from The Christie Commission which deal with the ageing population and the growth of people with multiple long term conditions it also approached the landscape of diminishing public funds and the idea was, was to bring health and social care together so that it directed support at an individual level pulling money from both organizations and to promote a preventative approach to help people stay well in their communities and live independently.

How do you find out if you can get involved with your local Integrated Joint Board? Colin Young, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

So the Integrated Joint Authorities have 3 decision making structures. The Integrated Joint Board which sits at the top which has voting rights of key members and some non-voting rights from representatives of local organisations and other bodies. The next level down is the Strategic Planning Group which advises the Integrated Joint Board on the key areas that need to be addressed with in the local area and below that you have the local planning groups which are formed of individuals and representatives from local organisations who have more of a grassroots knowledge of the issues going on at a very local level. Now the best way for an individual to get involved in the local planning group is to get in touch with a Third Sector Interface which are organisations in each Local Authority such as Glasgow Centre for Voluntary Services or EVOC in Edinburgh and an individual members of the community can approach these organisations and they are voted onto the local planning group and they can offer insights into how health and social care services can be delivered best for the people in that area.

Where do you go if you have a query about your care provision? Catherine Garrod, Providers and Personalisation, CCPS.

The Social Care Self-directed Support Act ensures that everybody should be offered the four options if you’re receiving social care so if you’re offered Option 2 and you choose a care provider if you have any issues about your care and support on a day to day basis you should speak to your care and support provider and have a discussion with them about what changes you want to get made. If for any reason your social worker doesn’t offer you Option 2 or anybody tells you you’re not allowed Option 2 you can make a complaint to Social Work, so it would be a formal Social Work complaint.

What can people expect from an Option 2 provider? Catherine Garrod, Providers and Personalisation, CCPS.

Option 2 is part of Self-directed Support and it should mean that you have full choice and control about how and when and who provides your support. So when you’re getting support from a care provider it means that you should be allowed to perhaps choose who your support worker is and the activities you get to do on a day to day basis, your support should be planned around your outcomes and should be fully personalised and really put you at the centre of things so that you have full choice and control over your support.

How do you make a complaint if things go wrong? Phil Wakely, 3 R’s Project, MECOPP.

Well the first thing to think about when you’re making a complaint is it’s useful to get legal advice at the earliest point, the first stage then once you’ve taken some advice would be to speak informally to the social worker who may be responsible for the decision. There’s a number of advantages to that, they will be able to deal with it much more quickly it may be that you can clear up any immediate understanding, and also it’s possible to do without any particular support so that’s also a useful first step. The second stage then would be to lodge a formal complaint with the social work department of the Local Authority who has made the decision, that would involve them dealing with it within a framework prescribed by the social work regulations so they should follow a standard procedure, that will involve them acknowledging your complaint within 3 working days and then hopefully providing a response within 20 working days. If they don’t comply with those time limits then that obviously gives you more reason to enforce your complaint. Finally if you’re not satisfied with the outcome of the complaint through that procedure you have two further options available to you, one would be an application to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman who should be able to deal with any complaint in relation to the administration, but also some of the social work decisions now and the other option would be some form of court action normally in the form of an application for judicial review that last option would pretty much always be your last option and you would need probably some quite serious legal advice before you went ahead with that. Other avenues available to challenge decisions include challenging using the Care Inspectorate who will investigate complaints about the quality and standard of care provided for individuals and also there may be some recourse if you’re dissatisfied with the behaviour of social workers or social work staff if you went to the Scottish Social Services Council. Pretty much those are all of your options available but what I would emphasise is it can be a difficult procedure, it’s always useful to get advice at the earliest stage.

Why is there a Carers Act? Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland.

There’s a Carers Act primarily because carers were campaigning for a long time to have some legislation in their own right. For many years they had a right to an assessment but no right to the services they were assessed as needing so the government decided to bring in the Carers Act back in 2013 it was announced at the Carers Parliament and whenever the government announced it they said a few things they said they wanted to enhance rights of carers but also they wanted more continuity in terms of carers services and support. So I would say in terms of enhancing rights the Carers Act does that in many ways but we will probably find that it will be difficult to get any kind of consistency in terms of enhancing those rights for carers.

How do you access your rights? Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland.

So it’s still probably quite early to say what it will change for carers certainly the rights that it provides to carers are the right to an Adult Carer Support plan or a Young Carers Statement it produces arers pathway so explains quite clearly to route that carers will take to get a service and in a nutshell if they meet the local eligibility criteria for carers they will have a right to support for the first time and that includes determining whether or not that support will include a short break and also other forms of support. For carers who don’t meet the threshold for local support they should still receive support in a preventative way so that might include services that are available through the local carers centre, information and advice which is a right within the act and other services such as potentially a short break through the time to live fund. It also enhances their rights in terms of how they are involved in services so there is a right for them to be involved in the assessment of the person they care for, there is also a right for them to be involved in the development of local carer services in their Local Authority area and finally there’s a right whenever the person they care for goes into hospital for them to be involved in the hospital discharge process and that’s really important for carers because often that’s the time they become a carer for the first time or whenever they have an increased caring role so when that happens they have to be consulted in terms of the discharge plan of the person they care for.

Can carers now get SDS? Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland.

In actual fact since the SDS Act came in in 2014 carers have been able to get SDS it’s been a power that their Local Authority could have used to enable them to have the SDS options but unfortunately it didn’t happen in very many areas the Carers Act has enhanced that right and what now happens is if a carer only needs preventative support, so for example the support they get through their local carers centre or community support then they won’t get the four SDS options but if their provided with other support by their Local Authority then they will get the four SDS options and that includes if the Local Authority chooses to provide them with services through their power even if they don’t meet the local eligibility criteria. So how that works is each Local Authority has developed criteria for carers and they have set out a threshold and the threshold is really about what sort of impact your caring role has on you if the caring role has a large impact on you, you’d be likely to meet the threshold for support and the Local Authorities would have a duty to provide you with that support so for the first time they would have to provide you with support and as a carer you would have a right to it at that point you would have an option for the four Self-directed Support options, so you could choose to take a direct payment for yourself and this would be for the support provided to you as a carer, not support provided to the person you care for so that would be Option 1 the other options are a mix of the Local Authority arranging Support for you or you deciding to take some control for part of it through a Direct Payment yourself or in other instances a mix of those two. So it really is important for carers at that point to consider what would work best for them and what we like to say is as a carer you know yourself best what support works for you and what solutions work for you so for you to have a think about how you can best get support to meet your needs.

What happens if the person you care for is admitted to hospital? Claire Cairns, Coalition of Carers in Scotland.

When somebody is admitted to hospital it can be a very difficult time both for the patient and the person who cares for them. Sometimes it can be the first time that somebody undertakes a caring role as well for example if that person has suffered a stroke or a head injury the Carers Act introduces a new duty on health boards to ensure that carers are involved in the hospital discharge procedure and there’s a few things that carers might want to think about in relation to that duty the first is that the act states that the carer needs to be identified without delay so if you find yourself in that position as a carer you might want to speak to hospital staff and ensure that they know that you’re the carer for that patient. The second thing the act says that the cared for person or the patient has to give their permission in relation to you having a conversation about their discharge and sharing information. So again you need to have that conversation with the person you care for and ideally you should have the conversation with them now just in case they are ever admitted to hospital in an emergency and make sure they’re comfortable with you being involved in their hospital admission and discharge procedures. Ideally this conversation should start as early as possible when the person is admitted to hospital and not just at discharge. It’s important as a carer you think about the care that you’re willing and able to provide whenever the person leaves hospital and like I say you may be caring for the first time or you may find the person you care for following the admission to hospital will have increased care needs which have an impact on you as well so have a think about that and make sure that you’re able to give your views at discharge about what care you’ll provide and what additional support and care you need from other sources.

What are the values and principles that underline how SDS should work in the law? Karen Geekie, Scottish Government SDS policy team.

Self-directed Support is how Scotland goes about social care, it’s our approach, it’s how we want every social care interaction to be and it really revolves around making sure that people and their families are involved at every step along the way so that’s throughout the whole assessment process, it’s once you’re found to be eligible for a package of support all of the decisions that come on the back of that you and your family should be absolutely involved and taking as much control as you want to every step of the way. So when we put the legislation in place because this is in the law this is in Scottish legislative framework around social care it’s called The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) 2013 Act when we put that in place we worked very much with disabled peoples groups and older peoples groups and children and families groups to find out what they wanted so to be involved, to know exactly what your options are and to have the support that you need to make those decisions even if that decision is that you would like the Local Authority or The Health and Social Care Partnership to make the decisions that’s okay too but you might want to take full control of your care or you might want something in the middle it should be a collaborative process with the professional at every step of the way. You should understand the decisions that are made, you should feel that you’ve had input into those decisions and if you want to you should be able to take control of those decisions. That’s why we put the legislation in place.

Why did we campaign for SDS? Florence Garabedian, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living.

Self-directed Support is not new and actually Self-directed Support was created or developed by disabled people who realised that if they wanted to have some control over their lives they needed to have some control over the support they receive and that’s the most fundamental aspect of Self-directed Support. Disabled people have needs of course but fundamentally they want to be able to live their lives as non-disabled people and have access to the same opportunities and for that they need to be able to control the way they are supported, where they live, how they live, where they go, when they go all those things that non-disabled people take for granted but which when you a disabled person who needs support is fundamental. It’s basically so important for disabled people to live their lives as they wish and live an independent life that we couldn’t not engage with Self-directed Support and the Independent Living Movement was born out of wanting to enable people, disabled people to control their support.

What is Independent Support and how can it work for you? Florence Garabedian, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living.

An Independent Support organisation is an organisation which make SDS work for you and in a way that it’s all about and around you, it’s about a person centred approach but it’s also about being impartial and giving you the opportunity to work things out for you. It’s about helping you to navigate the systems which often can be barriers so by being more aware by knowing about it and being supported going through the systems you know you will be more able to make the right decisions for you. Of course as an Independent Support organisation we should have a lot of information you know it’s very very important to have that, but also to be able to release this information to you as you can take it and not to dump on you. We will have the knowledge of the local and the national picture that we can adapt you know to what you need to know and what to do with it, but a very fundamental aspect of an Independent Support organisation is access to peer support it access to people who share the same experience and to share this experience with them and to learn from others in a very safe environment. It’s also about building your capacity so you are more resilient and you are more able to face things happening around you but also you can better identify the barriers and possibly overcome them with others. We also work with advocacy services and of course advocacy services are Independent Support organisations.

What are the benefits of being a member? Mark Han-Johnston Self Directed Support Scotland.

The benefits of becoming a member of Self-directed Support Scotland is it gives you an opportunity to access a range of information and resources and training that we make available specifically to members. So for example we often commission bits of training around subjects that are of interest to our members to help support the work that they’re doing for example it might cover legal rights and Self-directed Support or developing your understanding of working with people from different cultural backgrounds or disability equality training in addition it might be an opportunity to network with a range of different organisations who are delivering the same kind of services and support that you are in your area. There might be opportunities to be involved in policy development and consultations and there might be an opportunity to get support for development, developing you organisation in term of the governance, training and support for your local members.

Is there any requirements to becoming a member? Mark Han-Johnston Self Directed Support Scotland.

So the requirements to becoming a member of Self Directed Support Scotland is that you have to be a group or organisations that if formally organised or constituted in some way. The other part of the requirement is that you are providing information and support to people trying to access Self-directed Support in some way and at some stage on their journey through Self-directed Support whether that’s at the beginning of the process in terms of requesting support or requesting an assessment to people who are receiving a budget and trying to organise their support in some way. There are two categories of membership of Self Directed Support Scotland the first is a full membership and that is open to user-led organisations who have a majority of disabled people on their board. The second category is associate membership where they may not be user-led organisations but they are still involved in providing support to people trying to access Self-directed Support in some way whether by information, advice or support.

How to make use of your membership with SDSS? Mark Han-Johnston Self Directed Support Scotland.

To make best use of your membership with Self Directed Support Scotland you can look at promoting work and initiatives that you’re developing locally. You could also ask the wider membership for information, ideas and resources to support the work that you’re doing, you can potentially look at co-working with other members on issues and subjects that you’re looking to develop in some way and you can also look at co-hosting events, such as training that we might put on.

What do we do when we receive your application? Mark Han-Johnston Self Directed Support Scotland.

When we receive your application for membership to Self Directed Support Scotland I will look through that double check that we’ve got all of the information that we need from you, if there’s anything that’s missing we’ll come back to you and ask you for further information but I’ll also make a recommendation in terms of your category of membership whether that should be a full member or associate member. I will then forward that membership application to our board so they can consider you application for membership. In terms of timescale that could take anywhere between a few days up to a few weeks just for time for the board to consider the application formally.