A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: delivery plan

A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People is our delivery plan to 2021 for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

1 Our ambition: Support services that meet disabled people's needs


Support Services are designed and delivered to support all disabled people to live the life they choose, to have control, to make informed choices and to have support to communicate this when needed at every stage of their lives.

In the Scotland we want:

  • Disabled people can participate as active citizens in all aspects of daily and public life.
  • Support for independent living for disabled people of all ages, with increased say over how that support will be managed and provided.
  • Delivery of high quality health, social care and third sector services, with services working together to remove the barriers faced by disabled people of all ages.
  • Increased opportunities for disabled people to be fully involved in the design and delivery of services.

1. We will continue to support our transformational approach by investing in Self-directed Support. The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 introduced a new approach which gives adults, children and carers more choice and control over how their care and support is delivered. Our ambition for Self-directed Support goes beyond services being person-centred: it is about true choice and control to enable everyone to have more control over their lives, with greater choice and opportunity.

2. We are working with local authorities, providers, disabled people and other partners to deliver reform to adult social care. This will consider the commissioning of residential care and the role of new models of care and support in home care. This will enable progress towards our aim to end 'time and task' based care and shift to care that focuses on achieving independent living for people who use social care services. In the summer of 2017 we will also consult on the terms of a future review of long-term care capacity. The voices and experiences of service users, including disabled people and the organisations that represent them, will be at the centre of these reforms and will shape planning and implementation and improve outcomes.

3. Building on the contribution of 'Our Shared Ambition for the future of social care support in Scotland' , we will continue to engage with disabled people and carers to develop a set of outcomes we wish to collectively achieve. This will include whether new models of delivery are required to achieve these outcomes within a challenging financial context.

4. We will work with COSLA and with disabled people and the organisations that represent them to identify ways of improving the portability of care packages where a disabled person moves between local authority areas.

5. Building on the successful establishment of the new Scottish Independent Living Fund ( ILF), through which we have safeguarded the support packages that Scottish disabled people were previously getting from the ILF towards meeting care and support costs after the scheme was scrapped by the UK Government, we will launch an ILF scheme for new users. On top of the £47.2 million a year for support of the scheme's 2,700 existing Scottish users, a further £5 million a year of new funding will be available. We are developing the new scheme in co-production with disabled people, carers, representative organisations and local authorities. The new users' fund will open within the next year, to make the right support available to allow disabled people to live a fuller, more rewarding life. This will include support to access social connections and opportunities which enable a life of meaning, purpose and belonging.

6. By spring 2018 we will have new National Health and Social Care Standards in place which put human rights, dignity, compassion and wellbeing at the heart of all health, social work and social care services across Scotland. The standards will focus on improving services and delivering person-led outcomes for all. This will make a material difference to how services for disabled people are delivered and assessed.

7. £3 million has been committed between 2015-2018 to fund the Active and Independent Living Improvement Programme which finds innovative ways to help disabled people lead healthy lives and stay in their own homes. The programme is focused on the contribution of Allied Health Professionals (including physiotherapists and occupational therapists) and in 2016-2018 it will prioritise work with children and young people, helping people get into or remain in work, supporting people with dementia, people who have musculoskeletal conditions, people who experience frailty and are at risk of falls, as well as supporting people with their overall health and wellbeing and anticipatory care.

8. The 'Our Voice' programme will support disabled people to engage purposefully at individual, community and national level to improve health and social care services (2016-2017).

9. Our 'Routes to Inclusion' project provided valuable feedback from disabled people about what is important to them, and how they want to be engaged. We will share the project findings with the Health and Social Care Joint Integration Boards to help them establish effective engagement with disabled people about their health and social care in their local areas.

10. We will commence the Carers Act on 1 April 2018 so that carers of disabled people and disabled people themselves will be better supported.

Mental health

11. In December 2016, we will publish the next Mental Health Strategy which will set out our 10-year vision for transforming mental health in Scotland. The Strategy will be built around a lifespan: start well, live well, age well. Early intervention will be central, with a focus on child and adolescent mental health, and we will continue our emphasis on improving access to mental health services, so that people can 'ask once and get help fast'.

12. We will support the integration of mental and physical health treatment so that we achieve parity of esteem and reduce stigma. We have announced an additional £150 million for mental health services over five years, part of which will support access to mental health services.

13. We are committed to a review that will consider whether the provisions in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) 2003 Act should cover people with learning disabilities and autism.

14. We will empower disabled people to know and claim their rights following the changes in the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 by promoting independent advocacy and advance statements, alongside a rights-based approach in the statutory guidance on the use of mental health legislation to be in place in 2017.

15. We will work with disabled people and the organisations that represent them to develop changes to the Adults with Incapacity Act, in relation to deprivation of liberty, and to assess compliance with UNCRPD by 2018.

16. We will review policies on guardianship and consider circumstances in which supported decision making can be promoted.

Learning disabilities and autism

17. The 'Keys to Life', published in 2013, is a 10-year strategy to improve the quality of life for people with learning disabilities. With a £7.7 million investment we are improving learning disability services in Scotland. The strategy's implementation plan sets out four strategic outcomes which relate to the UNCRPD: 'A Healthy Life'; 'Choice and Control'; 'Independence'; and 'Active Citizenship'. The delivery of the Strategy is being taken forward with a wide range of partners in the statutory and third sectors and is focused on phased priorities targeted at each of the four outcomes. We will begin work early in 2017 to review progress and identify priorities for the next phase of implementation.

18. We will work across the Scottish Government to ensure we gather data on the services used to support those with learning disabilities to ensure the services they need are delivering the best outcomes to support independent living.

19. The Scottish Strategy for Autism is a 10-year strategy (2011-2021) that aims to improve access to integrated service provision, highlight good practice, and build capacity and awareness of autism in services to ensure people with autism are understood. We will begin work early in 2017 to identify gaps and priorities for 2017-2019.

20. We will work with schools, local authorities, health and social care partnerships, further and higher education institutions and employers to improve the lives of young disabled people. This includes points of transition into all levels of education - primary, secondary further and higher - education and employment. We will be mindful of young people who have faced structural inequalities and complex barriers that result in lack of employment. We will ensure that supports are in place so that they can live a life of equal participation, with the support they need. We will embed the Principles of Good Transitions, which have been endorsed by 30 multi-sector organisations in Scotland and prioritise person-centred, coordinated support.

21. We will take forward recommended solutions from the findings of the Complex Care project by March 2018. We will explore alternative solutions to out of area placements and delayed discharge for people with complex care needs. We will involve people with lived experience and their carers.

22. A National Framework for Families with Disabled Children and Young People will be produced and implemented to improve the outcomes of young disabled people and ensure they are getting the best provision and support possible. We will work closely with disabled children, young people, their families and the organisations that represent them in the development of the Framework. The timescale and format of the Framework will be informed by an engagement process taking place in early 2017 .

23. A local support and information network for parents of disabled children will be piloted from November 2016 to April 2017 and the learning materials for the pilot will be collated to demonstrate a model of parent engagement and participation that can be replicated throughout Scotland.

24. Our refreshed action plan on internet safety will be published by March 2017, which will fully consider the issues affecting disabled children in the online world. In addition to this, consideration will be given to how we can effectively address the issues affecting disabled adults online.

25. An enhanced learning and development framework for foster carers will support them to develop and enhance skills to care for all children, including disabled children, looked after in foster care.

26. The Student Award Agency Scotland ( SAAS) will work in partnership with disabled students and stakeholders to deliver an increasingly accessible application process, including improved advice and guidance, for all students with additional support needs, including disabled students.

27. From 2017 the Scottish Funding Council ( SFC) Outcome Agreement guidance will require colleges and universities to produce an Access and Inclusion Strategy that defines their inclusive practices and the impact this has on learners. As part of this work, SFC expect colleges to evidence how they use funds to support students with educational support needs, including disabled students, to ensure they have an equal chance of successfully completing their programme of study. This approach will gather outcomes by type of disability which will enable SFC to directly target interventions if required.


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