‘My Support My Choice’: SDS Research Project

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 7th May 2019

Researching user experiences of Self-directed Support in Scotland.

This year Self Directed Support Scotland and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) are running a research project called ‘My Support My Choice: user experiences of Self-directed Support in Scotland’, funded by the Scottish Government. This project examines the lived experiences of those who are either receiving Self-directed Support (SDS) or have experience of the assessment process in the last 12 months, via interviews and a detailed national survey. The survey asks about the experiences of social care users and their families, and examines local authority assessment, information and continual support practices in relation to SDS.

We believe that people’s experiences can help make positive changes to how social care and SDS are delivered in Scotland. Our research aims to provide good evidence to help improve policy and practice. Research reports will be published online, and we will directly share recommendations with Scottish Government, local authorities, and other relevant organisations.

The key research questions are:

  • Are new and re-assessed social care users being given all of the relevant information about options available to them under SDS, and is this done in a way that is supportive and accessible?
  • Are people aware of and able to access advice and support from other agencies to help them to make an informed choice and to set up their preferred arrangements?
  • Are people able to access care and support arrangements that are flexible and tailored to meet their own personally-defined outcomes?
  • To what extent are people able to obtain non-conventional forms of social care?

If you use social care and Self-directed Support or have been assessed for social care in the last 12 months, we’d really like to hear from you. You can have your say by completing our national survey about your experiences of being assessed for and receiving SDS. The survey is available online here (This link will take you away from our website). We can also post you a paper copy of the survey, if that’s easier for you – to request a paper copy, or for any help completing the survey, please call us on our freephone line on 0800 1701 321.

We know that not everyone has the same experience when it comes to accessing Self-directed Support, but we have seen just how transformational it can be to the lives of service users and their families when it works well. We believe that reporting progress based on service user experience is not only powerful but vital to improving SDS in the future.

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