The Scottish government has issued a consultative 10-year strategy to roll out personalisation in social care and related services.
The strategy on self-directed support mirrors the three-year Putting People First programme for England, under which councils are expected to give users choice over how their needs are met, improve information on care and invest in prevention.
The Scottish strategy envisages that “self-directed support should become the mainstream mechanism for the delivery of social care”, and is designed to equip services to tackle current financial constraints and coming demographic pressures.
Its 26 recommendations include for the Scottish government to consult by this spring on the need for new legislation on self-directed support to address existing barriers to increasing direct payments uptake – one of the strategy’s key aims.
As in England, the strategy promotes the use of individual budgets – known as personal budgets in England – under which users are allocated a sum of money to meet their assessed needs which they can take as a direct payment or leave to the council or a third party to administer.
Other recommendations include action to assess the role and funding of support organisations, including disability user-led organisations, and a review of existing rates for direct payments and individual budgets to ensure they are sufficient and enable users to meet costs such as staff training.
The strategy said training for personal assistants hired by direct payment users was inadequate and recommended that this should be addressed.
An implementation plan will be developed after the consultation to identify timescales and targets for the strategy’s short, medium and long term goals.