Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

The Self-Directed Support Act 2013

What this means for people entitled to an assessment for support.

What does Self-Directed Support mean in Scotland?

Self- Directed Support (SDS) legislation came into force on 1 April 2014. Its aim is to provide people with freedom, choice, dignity and control. SDS allows people to arrange some or all of the support they need to live as independently as they want to. It can provide alternatives to services and support provided directly by the local authority.

Who is eligible for Self-Directed Support?

You must be eligible for social care to be eligible for an assessment under the SDS Act:

  • You must have a disability that impacts on your independence or have a difficulty with substance misuse.
  • You may be the carer of a person and provide significant support to them. In this case, you may request an assessment in your own right.
  • You must meet the locally applied eligibility for support threshold. In Orkney thresholds have not as yet been set for access to all services.

What does the SDS act require?

  • That your assessment is based on a detailed conversation with you about what your ideal outcomes are and how you would best prefer these outcomes to be met by support provided. Outcomes are to do with how you want to live, what you want to do and what will make you most independent.
  • That you are informed of the budget amount that is allocated for your paid support.
  • That you are offered 4 options to have your outcomes met:
  • Direct Payments to buy support / pay a personal support worker or items to meet your support needs.
  • Directing your support budget- asking the council or another agency to manage it at your direction.
  • Having services arranged by the council.
  • A mixture of some or all of the above options.
  • That you and your family or carers are involved in all aspects of the assessment of and planning for your support.
  • That you are offered the opportunity to have support from Advocacy services and from agencies or groups who can help you both to decide how you want to have your support needs met and to practically manage the choices you have made.

How can I request an assessment under SDS?

You can refer yourself to the Adult Social Work Team. Their duty worker is available between 09:00 and 13:00, Monday to Friday on 873535. Ask for the Adult Services duty worker.

If you already have a social worker, they will talk to you about an assessment under SDS when you are due for a review or need an updated assessment. Or, you can ask them to start a new assessment.

If you are in a difficult situation and need care and support urgently, a more basic assessment will be done initially to get the support you need. When things have settled down, work can start on an assessment under SDS.


Independent Living Project

Anchor Building, Bridge Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1HR.

Telephone: 01856870777.

Advocacy Orkney

18 Queen Street, Kirkwall Orkney, KW15 1JE..

Telephone: 01856870111.

Email Advocacy Orkney

Web: The Self-Directed Support Scotland website is available from the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

Related Sites