That is the message to everyone in the region, making them aware that if they or a loved one of any age requires care or support to live their lives they should be ready to think about Self Directed Support.
Lillian Cringles is Chief Social Work Officer, and she said: “Many people don’t know that they hold the power over how their care and support is managed.
“Every day, somebody in the region becomes eligible to receive a package of care and support – whether that involves something like receiving personal care, help with medications or accessing their community.
“When that happens, discussions should take place with that individual and their loved ones over how they want to see that care and support secured, funded and managed.”
Self Directed Support is the name of the national legislation which presents four options to be available to people who become eligible for a package of care.
SDS comes with four options, but with a recognition and appreciation that all four options will not always be appropriate for an individual.
Option 1 – the support funding the person is entitled to is paid directly to that person who then makes arrangements themselves towards the agreed outcomes. They can directly employ a Personal Assistant or buy services directly from a provider of their choice. This option provides the most flexibility but it comes with the responsibility of managing the money.
Option 2 – the funding can be allocated to an organisation that the person chooses, and they manage the budget, but the person is in charge of how it is spent. This option gives you flexibility over the organisation that manages your money, but without the worry of managing the money yourself.
Option 3 – the person chooses to allow the Council to arrange and determine services on their behalf, managing the budget. The person can still make choices about agencies who provide support within the boundaries of the Local Authority framework. With this option you may have less flexibility over who delivers your care, with little responsibility as the Council manages the budget for you.
Option 4 – the person can choose a mix of the first three options for different types of support.
Lillian said: “Realistically, we can’t always say that all of these options will be appropriate or workable for each person who starts to receive support or care.
“However, it’s important for every single person to know that these options are there for them to consider and explore, and that we’re happy to support them to do that.
“Care and support for yourself or a loved one is not something that you should feel is outwith your control, and Self Directed Support aims to ensure that you know you have the power to determine how it is managed.
“And this applies to anyone currently in receipt of care and support. At any point, they too can look to make the arrangements that they want, with Self Directed Support providing an opportunity at any point to change the approach being taken to managing their care and support.
“Whether you’re receiving care and support now, might require it soon, or it’s far off in the future, everyone needs to know that they can take control of their care and support.
“There may be limitations and exceptions, but we would strongly encourage everyone currently receiving care and support to explore their options through Self Directed Support, and everyone who might require it in the future to be aware of the opportunities it presents.
“Self Directed Support is for all ages, and is also designed for those who serve as informal Carers – providing them with options around their caring role.”
For more information about Self Directed Support, please visit the Dumfries and Galloway Council website www.dumgal.gov.uk and search for ‘personalisation and self-directed support’.
Alternatively, call the main local authority switchboard number of 030 33 33 3000.