In its Self Directed Support Bill Policy Memorandum, the Scottish Government is clear that local authorities should not be entering the Self Directed Support process expecting to save money.
They say, "In the long term (that is, once change has been effected) a shift towards self-directed support (in practice, greater uptake of options 1 and 2 in the Bill) is expected to be broadly cost-neutral, so the recurring costs and savings will be expected to cancel each other out. This is borne out in the Scottish context by research commissioned by the Government from the University of Stirling, which found that self-directed support packages are roughly similar to standard arrangements in terms of hours. The study found no significant difference between direct payment users and those receiving traditional community care services in terms of hours of care, and predicted no significant rise in demand or reduction in service as a result of self-directed support. The study acknowledged that the cost of providing social care services in Scotland will continue to rise but noted that this would not be as a result of the shift to self-directed support, but from increased need for services, which arise from changing demographics.
"The IBSEN study in 200815, a study of the personalisation pilot sites in England, found that the difference in the mean weekly cost of support funded by an individual budget and for standard mainstream services was not statistically significant.
"Taken together with the Stirling findings, the Government views this as an indication that, in the long term, self-directed support is broadly cost-neutral, with increases in social care costs more likely to arise from wider changes in demographics and other associated factors."