Innovation Exchange

Self-Directed Support


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


59 year old female, lives alone in a top floor flat and has multiple health concerns including Chorea, an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, one of a group of neurological disorders; Graves disease, an auto-immune disease which affects the thyroid, frequently causing it become overactive, with related hyperthyroid symptoms such as increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and irritability.  Client has also suffered from depression and anxiety.


The supported person was assessed as requiring care at home to maintain living in the community.  At the time of assessment the supported person was given details on the 4 options available under Self Directed Support.  She discussed these options with the Self Directed Support Officer and the Care Manager and felt that she was not capable of becoming an employer under Option 1 (Direct Payments) as she did not have the confidence or drive and was exhausted.  She opted for an Option 3 (arranged services).  However within 3 months, the supported person contacted her Care Manager and explained that the service she was receiving was not suitable for her and that it was not meeting all of her outcomes - she was becoming more anxious because she did not know if the care staff would show.  She did however manage to get out of her house with support from the carers and a voluntary organisation plus had attended some groups and workshops.  By attending the workshops, the supported person felt she was becoming more educated and she was able to meet people in a similar situation to herself.


The supported person studied the 4 options and decided that she would like to hire her own personal assistants.  The Self Directed Support Officer met with her again and started a step by step plan on what she needed to arrange in order to become an employer through an option 1.


Since choosing option 1, the supported person has become more confident in herself, and felt empowered and in control of her care.  She is now achieving her goals and outcomes with the support of her Personal Assistants and is striving to be more independent.  She is now able to travel with the support of her Personal Assistants and is making her hospital appointments, getting her own shopping and has visited her family.   The supported person still requires assistance with her personal care and meal preparation but she is able now to do more for herself.

Theme: Health and Social Care

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Working closely with the supported person and being honest and open about her ability to make her own choices has empowered the supported person to achieve the goals and outcome set out on her support plan.

At the time of assessment the supported person’s mental and physical health was on the decline, the timeframe that was worked towards made a considerable difference to the supported person’s critical health.  It would appear that there was a window of time to enable the supported person to be a more confident individual and have the confidence to maintain her own life and continue to be part of the community.

The supported person was isolated in her home and did not have the opportunity or confidence in being part of her outside community.  She was missing important hospital appointments and was becoming increasingly anxious and down in her mood.  The timeframe and multiple visits to the supported person enhanced her control of her life.   We encouraged a multidisciplinary approach with the involvement of health professionals, the care provider, voluntary sector and social care.


Communication between sectors and the supported person would appear to have a beneficial impact for the supported person as she learned how to speak out, be involved and be in control.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Aileen Dominick

SDS Officer

Argyll and Bute Council

01369 707329

Case study added to site: June 2016

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