This page contains some of the successes that members have had to constructively resolve differences of opinion with the local authority over matters pertaining to self-directed support.

I would like to let you know about a recent experience with SDS. Initially I was informed by my social worker that SDS was to be used only for personal care. However, this was challenged by quoting information from South Lanarkshire’s website, which provided several examples of support which SDS can be used to provide. This included paying for taxis, the purchase of equipment, where a need had been identified, and holiday breaks. Following a discussion with my social worker, and her further discussion with colleagues, it was accepted that SDS could indeed be used to fund a holiday break to provide respite for my husband, who is my carer, and for myself.

Although my social worker was unaware of the existence of the Network, she now has full details.

Particularly for the over 65’s whose personal care is exempt from SLC’s charging policy.

South Lanarkshire Social Work seem to think that personal care consists of washing, dressing, showering etc. and very little else. However, when challenged over this they eventually had to concede defeat and accept that personal care encompasses a vast range of activities. These include: advice, encouragement and emotional and psychological support; eating, drinking, taking medication, communicating; seeing and hearing are also considered to be bodily functions; keeping finger nails and toe nails trimmed; all aspects of incontinence including laundry and skin care; assisting with the preparation of food and any special dietary needs; if the person is immobile or substantially immobile, dealing with the problems of that immobility (which would include pushing of a wheelchair); behaviour management and psychological support. This is just a shortened list and a fuller list can be found in The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002, SCHEDULE 1.

Are you receiving Direct Payments (Option 1) and been informed by Social Work that because you are on the new assessment system you do not qualify for an increase in your package to cover the increased Living Wage? Then we suggest you contact your Social Worker immediately and demand that this be rectified as it is incorrect. There have been two rises in the Living Wage, one on 1st October 2016 and one on 1st May 2017, with another due shortly.

A member successfully challenged Social Services on this point and eventually won their case and were awarded over £2000 in back money.

Are you receiving a Carer’s budget?

Then this is wrong – charging policy cannot be applied to carer’s budgets. A member recently challenged this and was awarded over £700 in back money and the imposed charge has been removed.