Read the latest on IRISS’ Pilotlight SDS project

Pilotlight is working with co-design teams of people who use and deliver services across Scotland to design pathways to self-directed support.

Using a design approach, Pilotlight aims to demonstrate how to design support for seldom heard groups, provide more personalised and appropriate services and increase the marketplace of support providers.

Pilotlight Ageing Well co-designed a self-directed support pathway and resources for older people living in East Renfrewshire. The co-design team was made up of older people with dementia, their carers, health and social care practitioners and independent information and support providers. The team met to design together each month from September 2015 to April 2016.

Key learning points are that:

  • older people are assets to their communities
  • mapping and sharing community assets is crucial
  • health and social care workers should become skilled community connectors and
  • tackling transport barriers can reduce social isolation.
    information given about self-directed support needs to be consistent.
  • Option 2 could offer greater choice and control to older people for whom managing a direct payment is not possible.
  • replacing ‘time and task’ commissioning with annual budgets will release creativity and lead to better outcomes for older people.

Resources produced by the team include Inkwell portraits of the older people, an East Renfrewshire Community Asset MapCommunity Connecting ABCD guide, a transport brief, an SDS Checklist for information providers, an ‘Easy Steps’ guide to Option 2 and learning materials to support ‘Getting from Hours to Outcomes’.

IRISS would love to hear how you are using the resources. Any feedback or requests for adaptations can be made by email to Judith or Josie.


Supporting workforce development for self-directed support

SSSC’s work is supporting the social service workforce to build local skills and capacity for change.

A new evaluation report of the Scottish Social Services Council’s work has been published as part of the Self-Directed Support (SDS) Workforce Development Project.

The report highlights how the workforce is having to negotiate significant tensions between new and existing ways of working. However, change cannot come from the practice of individuals alone. We need significant shifts throughout the system to effectively implement SDS.

Workforce development programmes need to make sure the workforce is ready for and can sustain complex change. Workers meet considerable challenges in day-to-day work so workforce development needs to be human and help them get through their working day.

The Scottish Government SDS policy team said:

‘This report recognises the barriers and complexity in implementing self-directed support and highlights learning and support on how to work through these complexities.  It has relevance across the health and social care workforce.

‘It is important that the learning from this report is distilled and shared to support choice and control for people who rely on care and support.’

The critical friend evaluation report can be accessed here: