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Research reveals carers experiences of using Self-directed Support during lockdown

Section: MembershipType: News Item Date Published: 22nd July 2020
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The Coalition of Carers in Scotland study found that most carers were unable to use SDS in a more flexible way during this period.

Due to social distancing/shielding/furloughing of support staff, many families were left without support during lockdown. Local authorities were asked to consider more flexible approaches to support people with care needs and were issued with new SDS guidance on 14th May.

However, 60% of unpaid carers who responded to the Coalition of Carers in Scotland survey were not even aware of the new SDS guidance or that they could potentially use their SDS budgets to purchase alternative support during lockdown (e.g. purchasing equipment or employing relatives).

Only 22% of unpaid carers who responded to the survey had been able to use their SDS budgets in a more flexible way during lockdown. This included purchasing technology, play equipment, employing relatives, changing hours/tasks of support staff.

43% of carers who asked their local authority if they could use their SDS budgets in a more flexible way ( e.g. to purchase equipment) had their request denied, often without any explanation.

51% of unpaid carers were told by their local authority that they could not use SDS budgets to employ family members during lockdown (despite the guidance stating that ‘PA employers may employ family members where this is deemed appropriate’).

The underlying principle of the recent SDS guidance was ‘to maximise flexibility and autonomy for the supported person in meeting agreed outcomes’. Sadly, this hasn’t quite happened in practice.

Read Coalition of Carers in Scotland report ‘Have unpaid carers been able to use SDS in a more flexible way during lockdown?’ (this link will take you away from our website).

 

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