The Scottish government today laid out a 10-year plan to personalise the country’s adult social care and support services through self-directed support.
Its self-directed support strategy sets out an ambition to roll out individual budgets, encompassing social care and other funding streams, to all older and disabled people who want one.
Scotland has historically lagged behind England in the personalisation of care, with proportionately lower rates of direct payments and, until now, no overarching strategy for self-directed support along the lines of England’s 2008-11 Putting People First programme.
The Scottish government said self-directed support would be “available to everyone but imposed on no one” – a different approach to that taken in England, where the government intends to have all service users on personal budgets by 2013.
Today’s strategy said that as well as promoting choice and control over support for service users, it was designed to deal with the cuts to public spending on the basis that “improved outcomes cannot be delivered with more of the same”.
However, with Scottish councils facing a 4.4% real terms cut in funding next year, it said the implementation of the strategy may be “evolutionary rather than revolutionary”.
The strategy draws on evidence from pilots in Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway and Highland councils, which have found that successfully implementing self-directed support required upfront investment, cuts to regulations and red tape and good leadership.
The Scottish government plans to underpin its strategy with legislation that is designed to bring existing law up to date and set out users’ rights and responsibilities.
A draft bill will be produced for consultation before the end of the year.
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