Self Directed Support (SDS)
How to access Self-Directed Support through your Council
If you feel that you have need for a level of care or support in daily living, which is not currently available to you, then you may wish to contact your Council to discuss this with a social worker.
Councils have a duty to support people in need to the best of their ability and this support should be based upon a formal assessment of your need.
Each Council may have slightly different processes but it is most likely that in your area there will be a central contact telephone number. You can either call yourself, or have a friend, neighbour, doctor, family member, nurse, or another make contact on your behalf.
A senior social worker will consider the details you have given them, usually within one day.
If the social worker concludes that you may have needs that the council should be helping you with, he or she will arrange for a home visit. If you are in hospital a social worker from the hospital will visit you in the ward before discharge.
The home or hospital visit will commence an assessment, the Council will discuss with you:
- What your needs are
- How far they extend into your life
- How far they should be met by the Council
- What is the best way to meet your needs.
Remember it’is important that your council take into account your preferences and those of your family – you should not be afraid to tell the social worker what you think you need. They must take this into consideration.
At this point you can state your preference to have your assessed needs met by Self-Directed Support and you should be able to choose from the options listed below . The Council has a duty to listen to your own preferences.
- You can have your money given to you as a direct payment into your bank account. It will be up to you to decide how and when you want to be supported. You can also choose who you would like to provide the support.
- You can have your direct payment managed by someone else. This means you can employ a broker to manage your money and help you organise your support – they will not provide support for you. A care provider, like Elite Care, could also manage your money.
- You can have your direct payment managed by your local authority. They would manage your money for you and arrange support on your behalf from a list of their preferred care providers.
- You can also choose to have a mix of the above 3 options.
You may wish to submit an assessment of your own. This is sometimes called a self-assessment, and is no more than your own statement of your own needs.
You can write or illustrate in any way you wish. You could for example write out a weekly timetable showing the times when you need support and describing the kind of support you need. Submitting a statement by yourself, or from someone assisting you, is your chance to say it as you see it.
Your social worker is not obliged to accept this assessment. However, they do need to take your views into account when making their professional judgement.
If the council concludes that you have needs, which they have a responsibility to meet, they will state so in a community care (or children’s) assessment. You should be given a copy of this statement and have an opportunity to change it, again you can ensure that your preference is for Self-Directed Support is noted. If it is agreed that you need support you will be offered arranged services or Self-Directed Support. You can choose one option or have a mix of each.
Once agreeing on what option you should receive a copy of a care plan, which will identify how your individual budget should be used. This may include a stated number of hours of care and support. Some Councils are moving to more flexible arrangements whereby care and support outcomes beyond a set number of hours can be purchased.
In any event you are likely to need to identify a provider of care and this is where Elite Care (Scotland) Ltd can step in.