Cllr Peter Johnston, COSLA’s Health and Well-being Spokesperson, commented:
“This is about Councils putting the service user first. Despite the difficulties, it is important is that we do not underestimate the seismic shift in approach required if we are to give full effect to SDS. SDS has the potential to make a huge difference to how people experience services, putting them in control and making services fit around their life instead of them having to fit their life around the services. As we move forward with integrating health and social care, it will be vital that all services are organised around people’s needs, and not institutional boundaries. SDS should not be limited to "social care" but in the new integrated world we are working towards should meet individuals' care needs and we would urge the parliament to seriously consider this issue.
He continued: “It is easy for individuals who are not directly involved to criticise. What they need to appreciate is that it is widely acknowledged that it is very difficult to accurately estimate the costs that will arise from Self Directed Support (SDS) Bill, should it be passed. Both the Scottish Government and the academic studies they commissioned have highlighted this and COSLA would agree. The timing and extent of administration and other costs are partly dependent of the choices individuals make under SDS, which are naturally difficult to accurately predict. Added to this, councils are all starting from different points in terms of the shape of local services and how developed SDS is already - their estimates of costs therefore understandably vary. We used information individual councils provided us with to estimate possible costs across Scotland. We shared this with partners in good faith, and with an acknowledgement of the difficulties we all face in producing accurate estimates.”