Supporting People in Scotland under pressure over outcomes

Pressure from politicians to link Supporting People more closely
with service outcomes is increasing, Community Care Live Scotland
was told.

The programme was at “a crossroads”, said Alisdair McIntosh,
head of Supporting People for the Scottish executive, but he added
that Scotland did not have to follow England by rethinking the

He told the conference in Edinburgh that outcome agreements for
service providers could be a solution.

However, he said he was uncertain over how such an approach
might be used with Supporting People, adding it was something to
come back to.

He said cuts to the programme had caused significant problems
and that the consultation on the programme’s new funding formula
“could have been handled better”, but said it was now time to look
McIntosh argued that the future of the programme depended on how
far its impact could be demonstrated and said this was the focus of
the department’s current efforts.

He said there was a need for an evaluation of the programme,
adding: “Delivering improved efficiency is crucial and the failure
to demonstrate that or provide evidence will come back to haunt
everyone in the next spending review.”

Responding to a question about the unclear boundary between
Supporting People and community care funding, he said there was a
need to articulate clearly what the programme did.

Austen Smyth, chief executive of the Richmond Fellowship
Scotland, said Supporting People needed a national needs assessment
methodology and an agreed way of measuring outcomes.

Although originally expected this month, the Office of the
Deputy Prime Minister’s Supporting People strategy for England,
which is also likely to affect Scotland, is now expected to be
released in October.


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