Self-directed support, Scotland, 2015-16

Report on the second year of implementation of self-directed support, following the introduction of the Self-directed Support Act 2014.

This document is part of a collection

1. Introduction

The Self-directed Support Act came into force on 1 st April 2014 and places a duty on local authorities to offer people who are eligible for social care a range of choices over how they receive their social care services and support. Self-directed Support allows people, their carers and their families to make informed choices on what their support looks like and how it is delivered. The Act means that, since 1 st April 2014, local authorities have been required to offer these choices to all new social care clients, and to all existing clients at point of review. The data reported here relates to the second year of implementation of Self-directed Support (2015-16) and follows up on the first Self-directed Support publication in 2014-15, when data on Self-directed Support was collected and analysed as part of the Social Care Survey for the first time. It is envisioned that the number of people who have been offered Self-directed Support will grow as local authorities review existing cases.

Self-directed Support allows people to choose a number of different options for getting support. The person's individual budget can be:

Option 1: Taken as a Direct Payment.
Option 2: Allocated to a provider that the person chooses - the council holds the budget but the person is in charge of how it is spent.
Option 3: The person chooses to allow the council to arrange and determine their service.
Option 4: The person can choose a mix of these options for different types of support.

The Scottish Government has been collecting data on Direct Payments (Option 1) since 2001 and as part of the annual Social Care Survey from 2013. The introduction of Self-directed Support resulted in changes to the format of the Social Care Survey from 2015, with information now being gathered about the provision of services and support through all of the Self-directed Support options over the course of a financial year.

This report provides analysis of information collected by the 2016 Social Care Survey for all Self-directed Support options. Further analysis of the 2015-16 Direct Payments data can be found in the publication 'Social Care Services, Scotland, 2016':

The introduction of Self-directed Support was a significant change to practice that will take many years to fully embed. It has required changes to the data that is collected and the design of new systems to collect and record that data. As a result, the 2015-16 data on Self-directed Support for some local authorities remains incomplete and the results presented here should be interpreted with this in mind. However, progress was made in data quality between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The remainder of this report is divided into five sections. Section 2 discusses issues surrounding the implementation rate of Self-directed Support across local authorities and the extent of data recording issues. Section 3 presents analysis of social care clients who made a choice regarding their services and support in 2015-16. Section 4 presents data on expenditure that was budgeted for social care clients who made a choice regarding their services and support in 2015-16. Section 5 compares 2015-16 data to the 2014-15 data published last year. And finally, section 6 presents key demographic statistics for each Self-directed Support option in the form of infographic pages.


Email: Steven Gillespie

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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