Latest Blog from our National Director: Self Directed Support

Perhaps controversial, and the jury is still out on whether I am a cynic or a realist, but this month I am sharing good news.

It has been refreshing to see positivity in the media, albeit few in number, there have been images and snow stories celebrating care staff who go above and beyond to ensure our most vulnerable citizens remain safe and cared for. And whilst I continue to wonder why it took the ‘Beast from the East’ for many to notice that it’s what our workforce do everyday, I want to eek out that celebration for as long as possible. Hopefully it will help folks through the oft overlooked aftermath.

Perhaps even more controversially, I want to talk about that other oft overlooked subject; Self Directed Support.

Today is Self Directed Support Scotland’s Conference, and whilst they have an excellent range of speakers including support from Scottish Government, I want to direct attention to Norma who will be there presenting her journey to receiving SDS. I became aware of this film via our SDS project funded by Support in The Right Direction in the Highlands, where Anne MacDonald has been working to promote the uptake of SDS. (A similar project has been on-going in the Ayrshires to produce tools and materials to promote SDS, but also with a focus on supporting the introduction of SDS for carers). It’s also worth noting here that in the second half of the week, Anne works for Highland Senior Citizens Network, making her an all-round expert.

As part of the SDS project, she has facilitated the co-production of materials such as a leaflet on SDS from an older person’s perspective in an ‘what I wish I had known’ format, and tested and localised tools to support practitioners and care staff. The key word in all of this is facilitation. The work Anne does is always lead by those who use services, and this is where Norma comes in. Norma worked with Anne to film her experience, and direct and cut the film, with a view to sharing a personal perspective on what SDS offered her.

Norma has allowed us to share the film on the Scottish Care website, so whether you are still ‘on the fence’, or an SDS convert, I urge you to watch it, it’s evidence that SDS can and does make a difference. For many people, it’s not new or rocket science, but simply the delivery of good human rights based care where people are offered the choice control and dignity they deserve.

So to Norma, thank you for sharing your experiences and allowing this to go on our website – if you ever fancy writing a blog for Scottish Care, we would love to hear more.

And while we are celebrating – if you care about those who provide care at home, then let them know. The deadline for submitting a nomination for the Scottish Care Annual Care at Home Awards is fast approaching. I have the privilege of chairing the judging and I can’t wait to read about all of the good work that is going on. We need to make a concerted effort to challenge the negativity in the press and celebrate and share our successes. #careaboutcare


Karen Hedge

National Director


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