Good conversations and positive outcomes are clear strengths of Self-Directed Support (SDS) in East Lothian
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 Self-Directed Support (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 ELHSCP supported people to experience positive personal outcomes through the implementation of self-directed support was good. They said that:
"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."
One East Lothian carer quoted in their main Scottish report said:
"I’ve worked with carers for years and have been one for years. I love what I’m seeing now, and I wish this [SDS] had all been around when I was in the darkest days of being a carer."
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:
"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 Director of Health and Social Care Alison Macdonald says:
"First of all, thank you everyone who spoke to the inspectors during the inspection and all our staff who work on a daily basis to promote choice and control for service-users. The report focuses on our strengths but also highlights areas where we could improve, which is really helpful. A lot of these centre around making our IT systems work better and improving the way that we record the “good conversations” that we have been having.
"We are committed to encouraging more people to take up self-directed support as it means that people can be more creative about the support they need, helping them get more out of life. It’s really encouraging to hear from the Care Inspectorate that our practise is good and that we are doing well."