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

  • Phase 1 to be undertaken between October 2023 - February 2024
  • Phase 2 to be undertaken March 2024 onwards

Phase 1

The Committee worked with several stakeholder organisations to carry out the following activities: 

  1. Informal briefing to the Committee on 14 November 2023.
  2. Five Informal engagement groups to develop their recommendations on the future implementation of SDS. Individuals from these gave evidence to the Committee on 20 February 2024.
  3. The Committee's call for views was open for submissions between 3 November 2023 and 12 January 2024.

The Committee published its phase 1 report on 3 May 2024.

Read the phase 1 report here

Next steps 

At its meeting on 30 April 2024, the Committee agreed to undertake phase 2 during June 2024 with four oral evidence sessions exploring: 

  • implementation of SDS by Health and Social Care Partnerships and Local Authorities
  • outcomes and actions set out in the SDS improvement plan
  • monitoring and evaluation of SDS
  • evidence from the Scottish Government

It is anticipated that the Committee's final report will be published in Autumn 2024.


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