Self-Directed Support update (SDS) Update

SDS Thematic Review
East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) was one of six Scottish health and social care partnerships to take part in a Care Inspection Thematic Review of the Implementation of SDS in Scotland. The Care Inspectorate visited East Lothian during September last year and worked with service-users, carers and staff to establish how well SDS was being implemented in the county. They had some very positive insights to share. They thought that the way that we supported people to experience positive personal outcomes through the implementation of self-directed support was good in East Lothian. Here’s what the inspectors had to say.

‘Good conversations and positive outcomes were clear strengths of our inspection findings in East Lothian. Staff…were confident that they were supporting people to achieve positive outcomes…many supported people and unpaid carers were clear that they were experiencing flexibility, choice and control in their care and support and that this was making a difference to their lives’.

They also noted that staff felt confident, competent and motivated to practice in an outcome-focused and person-led way. They rated us as good, saying:

‘The majority of social work staff we met…felt autonomous, confident and supported. There were appropriate arrangements in place to express views, share, discuss and reflect on practice issues at events, workshops and individual support levels with managers.’

Another area that impressed the inspectors was the way we had effectively communicated and engaged with our stakeholders and promoted more flexible commissioning strategies. They also liked the way that we empowered and supported staff to develop and exercise appropriate skills and knowledge, and they felt that leadership was good too.

They added:

‘The self-directed support vision, values and culture were generally well established across the partnership…Overall, the partnership was collaborative, innovative and had designed and embedded numerous new ways of working all based around efficiencies, market stimulation and self-directed support principles’.

East Lothian carer quoted by Care Inspectorate

SDS Action Plan
We re currently working on an action plan action plan to deliver the recommendations from the thematic review. In November, we will be holding an event for managers to work on the mapping process.

SDS Prepayment Card

SDS prepayment card
In January 2019, we introduced the SDS prepayment card. We put the amount agreed for the service-user’s four-weekly Direct Payment on to it every four weeks. It works like a debit card and has an online user account—just like an online bank account—and each card is PIN-protected.


With more people using Direct Payments, we need to put better, more efficient monitoring in place. The payment card will mean that no one will have to make quarterly submissions any more(and people will be able to check their balance online at any time). There will no longer be any need for people to open special bank accounts for Direct Payments, so it will be much quicker to set Direct Payments up. We think this system will be an added incentive for people thinking about or currently using SDS, as it will make finances much easier for service-users to control.

SDS Uptake

One Reply to “Self-Directed Support update (SDS) Update”

  1. Further embedding SDS in East Lothian’s Strategic approach is key to ensuring choice and control for supported people. Really looking forward to using KETSO event with ELHSCP leaders to launch our engagement on the change plan…the heart of the implementation plan for progressing the SDS agenda.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *