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Chamber and committees

Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

Post-legislative scrutiny of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013


The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is undertaking an inquiry into how the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 has worked since it came into force. This inquiry is post-legislative scrutiny.

The Committee wants to know if the Act is producing the expected outcomes, to what extent, and if not, why not?

The Act  

The main provisions of the Act came into effect in April 2014. 

The Act was intended to ensure that care and support is arranged, managed, and delivered in a way that supports choice and control for individuals. 

Four fundamental principles of SDS are built into the legislation – participation and dignity, involvement, informed choice and collaboration. All social care in Scotland should be provided in line with the principles set out in the Act.

In addition to the principles, the Act contains a duty on local authorities to offer four options to people who have been assessed as needing a community care service:

  • Option 1: The individual or carer chooses and arranges the support and manages the budget as a direct payment.
  • Option 2: The individual chooses the support, and the authority or other organisation arranges the chosen support and manages the budget.
  • Option 3: The authority chooses and arranges the support.
  • Option 4: A mixture of options 1, 2 and 3.

The Committee's Scrutiny

The Committee has agreed a two-phase approach to its post-legislative scrutiny: 

  • Phase one is an informal information gathering stage, taking place November 2023 – February 2024.
  • Phase two will follow later in 2024, following analysis of the information gathered during phase one. 

Phase one 

The Committee has worked with several stakeholder organisations to inform phase one. As a result it agreed that all its information gathering should centre on four key groups: 

  • Individuals with experiences of self-directed support
  • Carers
  • Frontline social care and social work staff
  • Social care providers 

The Committee is working with partner organisations to carry out the following activities: 

  1. Informal briefing to the Committee
    On 14 November, the Committee spoke with four partner organisations about experiences of implementation of SDS.

  2. Informal engagement workstreams
    The Committee set up four workstreams to explore views of the implementation of SDS. People from these workstreams will give evidence to the Committee in February 2024.

  3. Call for views
    The Committee launched a call for views on implementation of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. 

Next steps 

Phase one represents one part of the inquiry process and will not be the only opportunity to engage. 

The Committee will publish a report on all three strands of phase one. This report will then inform the formal evidence the Committee will take as part of phase two.

Your views

The Committee would like to hear views from people about their experiences of self-directed support.

Who does the Committee want to hear from?

The committee wants to hear from anyone who has a view on, or experience of, self-directed support. 

There is one main question in the committee’s call for views:

  • Please tell us what you, or the person you represent, think about the implementation of self-directed support to date.

The call for views will also include basic demographic questions, such as asking which part of Scotland you live in.

Submit your views

Give your views to the Committee using the online form

Complete a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the call for views

The closing date for the call for views is 23:59 on Friday 12 January 2024.

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