William Eichler 24 August 2017

Scottish care model not achieving ‘full potential’, auditors say

A new care model in Scotland is not ‘achieving its full potential’ despite £70m of investment from Holyrood, auditors say.

Councils are responsible for implementing Self-directed Support (SDS), which offers people more choices around their support and how it is managed.

SDS is mostly provided by the new local health and social care integration authorities drawn from councils and the NHS.

A new report from the Accounts Commission and the Auditor General says many people have benefitted from SDS.

However, it warns integration authorities ‘still have a lot to do to provide this for everyone.’

While the auditors’ report highlights the fact there has been a lot of positive feedback concerning the service, it found not everyone is getting to choose and control their social care the way they want to and staff need more support to try new approaches.

‘There is a growing body of evidence that SDS is helping many people with support needs to live more fulfilling lives,’ said Ronnie Hinds, acting chair of the Accounts Commission.

‘However, there is no evidence of the transformation required to fully implement the policy.

‘Radical change of this kind is never easy but we are in the seventh year of the 10-year SDS Strategy, and it's been three years since the legislation was introduced.

‘Authorities must respond more fully to provide services that make choice and control a reality for everyone who needs social care.’

Auditor General Caroline Gardner said: ‘SDS is clearly working well for some people but many more people can and should benefit from it.

‘The Scottish government has invested £70m in SDS and needs to work with its partners to boost progress and develop its full potential.’

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