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24 Oct 2017
Dundee Stronger Together

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

The IBSEN study in 2008, 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.