West Dunbartonshire social care ‘underdeveloped’

Self-directed support report finds council behind others in some areas

Friday 28th June 2019

A new more personalised model of social care in West Dunbartonshire health and social care partnership is ‘underdeveloped,’ according to a report by the Care Inspectorate.

Inspectors found self-directed support was working particularly well for people with learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries but less so in larger services like those for older people.

The partnership says it has a "comprehensive" plan to address the issues raised in the report.

The report comes as regulators assess how well the social care reform is working across Scotland, finding it needs to be “accessible to all.”

Self-directed support sees people who are supported by carers – such as older or disabled people –encouraged to make decisions about their care themselves, in some cases taking on responsibility for how their personal care budget gets spent.

In West Dunbartonshire, inspectors say the range of information about self-directed support was “variable”, though there was praise for Link Up, an award-winning telephone advice service for older people.

Elsewhere, the report states there were ‘missed opportunities’ for staff to learn about self-directed support and finds ‘approaches to support flexibility, choice and control for people using services were at an early stage of development.’

The report says the partnership is looking to increase the choice of different social care providers and fix ‘gaps in the partnership’s current provision’.

The inspectors also acknowledged a ‘recognition that their commissioning direction needed to change’.

A spokesperson for the partnership said: "We would like to thank the Care Inspectorate for this report. Since the inspection last summer, progress has continued to embed Self-Directed Support in West Dunbartonshire.

"We recognise that there is still work to be undertaken both to raise awareness among communities and our staff, and also  to maximise the benefits of SDS for our residents who use social care services. We have developed a comprehensive action plan to fully address all of the findings and this is now being implemented."