We believe that Self Directed Support can give people with learning disabilities far more control over their own lives. All partners in this process should work in a collaborative, open and transparent way that leads to genuine co-production and involvement
Helen's Story, a new pamphlet produced by the Self Directed Support Stronger Together group is now available. You can download a copy here
We have also produced a new pamphlet that give service users, families and other people some ideas on how they can complete the Self Evaluation Questionnaires that are used as part of the assessment process. This is called "The Unofficial Guide to Completing a Self Evaluation Questionnaire"
On Wednesday 28th The Scottish Parliament passed the new self directed support bill. This creates for the first time a new legal framework to allow people to manage and control their own support.
LDAS will shortly be publishing a review of progress by local councils in implementing SDS. What we found is that the vast majority of councils are just starting out on the strategic planning of SDS or running small scale test projects. There won't be a rush to make sure people take Self Directed Support up in most councils.
In a bit of good news, the Minister for Public Health announced that while the bill gave local authorities the power to charge carers for support they recieved, he would be shortly introducing regulations that would stop councils charging carers for any support offered under Section 2 of the Act. We will need to wait until the regulations are published before we know how wide this waiver will go. But for those of us who have been campaigning against Care Charges for a while, this is a welcome development which acknowledges that the Scottish Government has both the power and a duty to intervene when care charges are a problem.
Glasgow had introduced individual budgets for lots of people. The process is going very slow.
About 1,000 people with learning disabilities who receive support in their own home were given budgets last May.
About 200 people who went through an SEQ at the same time have not been progressed and are still waiting for final budgets.
About 100 of the first thousand people have gone through the second stage review. Some have had further reductions in budget and a few have stayed the same. We do not know of individual budgets which have gone up.
There was a well supported lobby of the full Glasgow Council meeting on Thursday 28th June. About 80 people came along with many users and carers there for the first time. Several users and carers spoke about their concerns. Inside the Chambers, Martha Wardrop of the Green Party raised the issue of personalisation.
Idem Lewis, board member of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland spoke at the event. Here is what Idem said -
My name is Idem Lewis. I am on the Board of Management of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and I am speaking on their behalf today.
The learning disability alliance is very concerned about the attacks on services for people with learning disabilities in Glasgow with personalisation and care charges.
The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a severely disabled man, known as KM, against Cambridgeshire Council, brought on the grounds that the £85,000 annual personal budget he had been given was irrational and not supported by adequate reasons.
The challenge was in part based on an assessment by an independent social worker, instructed by both KM's mother and the council, which found that the cost of meeting his needs was £157,000.
The Supreme Court held that there was a four stage process in meeting people’s needs.
(i) What are the needs of the disabled person? – This refers to the assessment process and the Supreme Court held that resources available to local authorities should not influence this process.
(ii) In order to meet the needs identified at (i), is it necessary for the authority to make arrangements for the provision of any of the listed services? – This refers to the use of eligibility criteria.
(iii) If the answer to question (ii) is affirmative, what are the nature and extent of the listed services for the provision of which it is necessary for the authority to make arrangements? – This refers to a working assumption that there may be natural support, family or friends who will provide some of the care.
(iv) What is the reasonable cost of securing provision of the services which have been identified at (iii) as being those for the provision of which it is necessary for the authority to make arrangements? – This was the key point of the case and turned on how a RAS was constructed.