Blog: “SDS can help put people in the driving seat of their own lives”

Linda Tuthill, Chief Executive of the Action Group and contributor to our Insights Podcasts series, on the blocks that must be removed to ensure Self-Directed Support can be truly empowering

I am passionate about people who use any services having the power and control in their own hands. There are many ways this can happen, through person-centred support services, involvement, and self-advocacy support.

A main way is for the person to have the money in their own hands or in their own name, managed in a way that gives them as much control and flexibility as possible. It also means giving people the choice to not have this if that is not where they are at in their life. It should never be forced on anyone. But instead, if the right support is in place, it is hoped that more and more supported people and carers will opt for Self-Directed Support (SDS).

When done right, SDS is empowering and helps really put the person in the driving seat of their own lives and support. When done badly (i.e. the person isn’t given the support to know what they can buy with their money or there are not the options to buy etc) then nothing really changes.

Sadly, there are also a lot of blocks in the system preventing full implementation of SDS in Scotland, in the spirit of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. These include:

• Social workers not knowing about SDS

• SDS not being offered at assessment stage

• Bureaucracy being put in place with complicated systems to access SDS, putting off those who want support and organisations who feel unable to engage fully with SDS due to this complexity.

There are also simply the time and capacity barriers that people desperate for support face, that carers face and that staff in Councils and social care organisations face. This has potentially never been more of an issue as it is now due to post-pandemic pressures.

To really get SDS pushed forward we need investment in all parts of the system, including social care organisations that are often best placed to “sell” SDS and to provide innovative solutions to those who then have their own budgets. Without proper investment I am not optimistic that the postcode lottery of SDS take-up will improve beyond what Audit Scotland concluded in 2017.

However, as an optimist I hold on to the hope that the implementation gap will close further through the efforts of the many self-advocates and SDS organisations that exist to promote this important right for everyone who accesses social care now and in the future. My organisation will continue to play its part by continuing to work together with our many SDS funders, with options 1 and 2, and to empower others to move to SDS if this is what they want and help them to work with social work for this to happen.

CCPS’s ethical commissioning workstream, of which its Insights Podcasts series on SDS are a part, helps focus debate and energy around SDS. We need that energy so it doesn’t end up being just great legislation with continued poor or patchy implementation, but instead great legislation with great impact in the lives of everyone in Scotland – given that most of us need support at some point in our lives.

SDS matters to us all!

Listen to our Insights Podcast series. Linda appears on episode 2, which focuses on person-centred care and SDS.

Find out more about the Action Group

CCPS Insights Podcasts on ethical commissioning and procurement

We’ve launched a series of podcasts focusing on the vital issue of ethical commissioning, with experts from across the sector sharing their views.

Our new series of podcasts features a range of experts sharing their views on the ethical commissioning principles developed by the Scottish Government.

The principles were introduced to promote the move to more collaborative, outcomes-based commissioning and procurement practices that support high quality, person-centred care, fair work, sustainability for providers and real choice and control for individuals under Self Directed Support (SDS).

Introducing the podcasts, Catherine Garrod, CCPS’s Programme Manager (Commissioning and Procurement), said:

“If fully implemented, CCPS believes that the ethical commissioning principles could make a real difference to the way that social care support is commissioned (planned), procured (purchased) and delivered.

“A move away from traditional price-based competition to greater collaboration and outcomes-focussed commissioning and contracting will lead to better outcomes for individuals, support that meets people’s needs, greater sustainability for third sector support providers and a workforce that is fully valued and rewarded for the work that they do.”

“Our new podcasts feature provocative and thoughtful discussion of these issues from a variety of expert voices. We hope they’ll be of interest to CCPS members and everyone in our sector committed to delivering on our shared vision for ethical commissioning in social care.”

The podcasts are produced by Spreng Thomson and hosted by Dylan Macdonald. They were commissioned by the CCPS Commissioning and Procurement Programme, which is funded by Scottish Government. See below list of episodes.


1. Overview of ethical commissioning principles and why they matter

In this first episode, we hear contributions from Dr Catherine Needham, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the University of Birmingham, Rachel Cackett CEO of CCPS, and Andrea Wood, Convener of CCPS and CEO of the social care provider Key.

Introducing the topic, Catherine and Rachel share their views, experiences and learning regarding ethical commissioning and the impact it has for the sector, as well as everyone involved in social care. Later in the episode Andrea Wood discusses the importance of procurement principles, touching on many of the aspects explored by Catherine and Rachel.


2. Person Centred Care, SDS, supporting a diverse market of support

The second podcast features contributions from Pauline Lunn, CEO of In Control Scotland, Linda Tuthill, CEO of The Action Group, and Des McCart, Senior Programme Manager Improvement Hub (ihub) at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The group look at the importance of having a diverse market of support for individuals to choose from and why it is vital people are involved in the decision-making behind their support provider and support needs.


3. Fair Work in practice and financial transparency

On this episode, we hear from Anna Fowlie, CEO of SCVO and Viv Dickenson, Chief Executive of CrossReach.

The discussion focusses on how changes to the way support is commissioned, procured and contracted can help deliver fair work. The contributors also discuss the positive impact that can come from embedding fair work in contracts and sustainable rates, and the value of effective training and workforce development.


4. Principles on high quality care and outcomes for individuals

This episode explores high quality care, with Dylan Macdonald’s guests discussing how to support the move to outcomes-based commissioning and contracting and a focus on quality, not price.

Joining the debate are Geoff Mark and Innes Turner from the Care Inspectorate, part of Scottish Government, alongside Toby Lowe, Visiting Professor at Centre for Public Impact.


5. Examples of good practice

For the final episode, we hear from Amy Hurst, Head of Practice at Collaborate CIC, SallyAnn Kelly OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Aberlour, and Gary Wallace, Public Health Specialist at Plymouth City Council.

The spotlight is on good practice examples across the care sector and the positive impact of moving to an ethical commissioning approach.


Listen to all episodes on Spotify 

Find out more about CCPS’s Commissioning and Procurement Programme

News: Final podcast episodes amplify quality and good practice

Our final episodes in the Insights series, launched today, feature lively discussion about ethical commissioning principles in social care

CCPS’s focus on ethical commissioning principles in social care continues with the release today of the final two episodes in our Insights podcast series.

The podcasts feature a range of experts sharing their views on the ethical commissioning principles developed by the Scottish Government.

Episode four explores high quality care, with Dylan Macdonald’s guests discussing how to support the move to outcomes-based commissioning and contracting and a focus on quality, not price.

Joining the debate are Geoff Mark and Innes Turner from the Care Inspectorate, part of Scottish Government, alongside Toby Lowe, Visiting Professor at Centre for Public Impact.

For the final episode, the spotlight is on good practice examples across the care sector and the positive impact of moving to an ethical commissioning approach.

Guests include Amy Hurst, Head of Practice at Collaborate CIC, SallyAnn Kelly OBE, Chief Executive Officer at Aberlour, and Gary Wallace, Public Health Specialist at Plymouth City Council.

Catherine Garrod, CCPS’s Programme Manager (Commissioning and Procurement), said:

“We’ve been delighted by the reaction to the podcasts and the level of engagement from across Scotland’s social care sector since we launched this new series.

“These final two episodes feature lively debate and expert voices from very different social care backgrounds. Anyone with an interest in delivering on ethical commissioning principles in social care will want to listen to them so they can be part of the dialogue.”

The Insights podcasts series is produced by Spreng Thomson.

Listen to the podcasts on Spotify 

Find out more about CCPS’s Commissioning and Procurement Programme

 

News: Insights Podcasts give voice to discussion of ethical commissioning principles

We’ve launched a brand series of podcasts on the vital issue of ethical commissioning, with experts from across the sector sharing their views.

The Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) today launches a new series of podcasts focusing on discussion of ethical commissioning principles in social care.

The podcasts feature a range of experts sharing their views on the implications and application of ethical commissioning principles developed by the Scottish Government.

The principles were introduced to promote the move to more collaborative, outcomes-based commissioning and procurement practices that support high quality, person-centred care, fair work, sustainability for providers and real choice and control for individuals under Self Directed Support (SDS).

Introducing the new podcasts, Catherine Garrod, CCPS’s Programme Manager (Commissioning and Procurement), said:

“If fully implemented, CCPS believes that the ethical commissioning principles could make a real difference to the way that social care support is commissioned (planned), procured (purchased) and delivered.

“A move away from traditional price-based competition to greater collaboration and outcomes-focussed commissioning and contracting will lead to better outcomes for individuals, support that meets people’s needs, greater sustainability for third sector support providers and a workforce that is fully valued and rewarded for the work that they do.”

“Our new podcasts feature provocative and thoughtful discussion of these issues from a variety of expert voices. We hope they’ll be of interest to CCPS members and everyone in our sector committed to delivering on our shared vision for ethical commissioning in social care.”

Produced by Spreng Thomson and hosted by Dylan Macdonald, the first three podcasts in a series of five are launched today. They are:

1. Overview of ethical commissioning principles and why they matter

In this first episode, we hear contributions from Dr Catherine Needham, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management at the University of Birmingham, Rachel Cackett CEO of CCPS, and Andrea Wood, Convener of CCPS and CEO of the social care provider Key.

Introducing the topic, Catherine and Rachel share their views, experiences and learning regarding ethical commissioning and the impact it has for the sector, as well as everyone involved in social care. Later in the episode Andrea Wood discusses the importance of procurement principles, touching on many of the aspects explored by Catherine and Rachel.

2. Person Centred Care, SDS, supporting a diverse market of support

The second podcast features contributions from Pauline Lunn, CEO of In Control Scotland, Linda Tuthill, CEO of The Action Group, and Des McCart, Senior Programme Manager Improvement Hub (ihub) at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

The group look at the importance of having a diverse market of support for individuals to choose from and why it is vital people are involved in the decision-making behind their support provider and support needs.

3. Fair Work in practice and financial transparency

On this podcast we hear from Anna Fowlie, CEO of SCVO and Viv Dickenson, Chief Executive of CrossReach.

Episode three focusses on how changes to the way support is commissioned, procured and contracted can help deliver fair work. The contributors also discuss the positive impact that can come from embedding fair work in contracts and sustainable rates, and the value of effective training and workforce development.

The podcasts were commissioned by the CCPS Commissioning and Procurement Programme, which is funded by Scottish Government

Over the course of the series, contributors will examine other key themes, including the importance of person-centred care in light of the pandemic; the relevance of appropriate language and how terms such as ‘bed blocking’ undermine empathy and understanding; and the need for those in receipt of care and support to experience genuine autonomy.

Listen to the podcasts on Spotify 

Find out more about CCPS’s Commissioning and Procurement Programme