Social care reform programme launched

New Scottish Government vision for adult social care says support should ‘fit around a person’

Wednesday 12th June 2019

Speaking at the Social Work Scotland conference today, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has launched a new plan to ‘fully implement self-directed support’.

A policy panel of unpaid carers and people with lived experience of social care support was convened to help shape the plan, which has been published alongside a document detailing the Scottish Government’s vision for what adult social care support should look like in the future.

The panel said: ‘priority must be given to providing self-directed support which fits around a person, and also to ensuring there are more consistent experiences across the country, whilst allowing for local needs and circumstances’.

The Scottish Government has said the voices of unpaid carers and people with lived experience of social care support have been ‘instrumental’ to building the reform programme.

Self-directed support is a form of social care where the person being cared for is given more choice and control over how their care is organised and who provides it. In some cases, people take control of their own budget.

The Health Secretary jointly announced the programme with Stuart Currie, COSLA’s health and social care spokesperson.

“Social care support is essential for thousands of people so they can live as independently as possible. We want to ensure that anyone who needs it can get effective, person-centred, sustainable social care support now and in the future,” she said.

“I believe that services which are shaped by the people who use them will deliver the best outcomes. 
“The connections the panel has made with people using and delivering social services means we have a programme which sets a clear direction for the future of adult social care support in Scotland.”

Enabling people to access support as soon as possible is integral to the new reform programme – ‘responding to crisis is the exception,’ it states.

The intention is to ensure ‘support happens early enough to stop problems happening or getting worse’ and people are to be encouraged to think about what their future care needs may be and supported to plan accordingly.

“Health and Social Care Partnerships are working with colleagues in the independent and third sector to drive improvements to the system and improve outcomes for people and their communities,” added Councillor Currie.

“This launch follows extensive engagement with partners across the sector to develop a national programme to support local reform and improve outcomes for people and their communities.

“Social care support is an investment in Scotland and we must ensure it is treated in this way.”

A partnership programme framework has also been published, offering an outline of priorities, vision and workstreams for local reform of adult social care services