Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-directed support: guidance - 11 March 2022

Version 4 of guidance on self-directed support during the coronavirus pandemic published on 11 March 2022.

1. Social Care and Support Arrangements

In line with any restrictions that may be in place during the pandemic, decisions on modifying and re-opening individual services should be taken locally by providers, in partnership with statutory agencies, Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships. We expect local systems to balance the need to do what is right to be proactive and reactive during the pandemic, whilst ensuring social care support enables people to live safe and fulfilling lives.

Due to the significant demand and pressure being placed on the social care system, many Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships are experiencing a significant impact on their ability to deliver social care support. Assessment undertaken in accordance with SDS legislation will help to ensure best practice however, existing powers in section 12A(5) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 allow a local authority to provide or arrange for the provision of support without the need for a prior assessment where the local authority considers that the need for services is a matter of urgency. More information on this can be found at Section 2 of this guidance.

Best practice approaches during these significantly pressured times should include open dialogue with carers and supported people around options available to deliver their social care support. This includes support to use personal budgets flexibly, and considerations of the impact of all available options under SDS, including using Option 1 to employ friends and family members. A strengths and asset-based approach should be maximised where possible, to ensure the individual receives support and services in ways that help them achieve their personal outcomes.

In line with the SDS Framework of Standards, Self-directed Support Options 1 and 2 should continue to enable the individual to choose how their care and support is organised, and how they spend the agreed budget. This may include switching to a different SDS option. More detail of this can be found in section 3 of this guidance.

The Threshold Sum is the Local Authority funding that forms the platform on which most ILF Scotland awards are built. Local Authorities understand the importance of their own contribution to the care and support that ILF awards also sustain.

Scottish Government expects Local Authorities to work in partnership with ILF Scotland to ensure all Threshold Sums are re-instated. This could be arranged by the restoration of direct services, or through the offer of alternative SDS options.



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