Self Directed Support (SDS) & Personalisation

Self Directed Support gives people a choice about how their support is provided.  It is intended to encourage people to consider new ways of being supported or cared for rather than accept traditional services. If any individual is assessed as requiring community care services they will be given the choice of four options to help them organise their own support.  If they decide not to pick an option the support will still be provided by the Health & Social Care Partnership.

The options are:

Option 1 

  • Direct payment. A payment will be made to you to purchase your own support. With this you can arrange your own support.You can employ a personal assistant or buy a service from a care organisation. This gives you the most choice and control but you also have the most responsibility for arranging things.

Option 2 

  • Individual service fund. You can choose a care organisation that you want to provide you support and we will arrange to pay this for you. This gives you choice and control but less responsibility for managing things.

Option 3

  • Council arranged services. After discussing this with you, we will arrange the support for you from an appropriate provider. With this choice you have no responsibility for arranging things but you also have less choice and control over what support you receive.

Option 4

  • You can use a mixture of the options to arrange your care and support. This choice lets you pick the parts you want to decide about and what parts you want to leave to us.

Some people who contact us may need to be sign posted to another agency (for example Department of Work and Pensions) or sometimes giving advice may be enough to sort out the problem.  This may mean that we do not need to be involved any further.

To find out if an individual is eligible to receive support you or someone on your behalf will need to approach the Health & Social Care Partnership.  This is called a referral and can be made by phone, in writing or in person.  Referrals may come from for example hospital discharge staff, GP’s, relatives, carers, friends or yourself.

When the referral is made the person will be asked to provide information which will include personal details, housing information, next of kin and details of what the problems are that require help/support.  This allows us to assess the urgency of someone’s situation and find out if a full social care assessment is appropriate.


The assessment involves discussing with you what aspects of your life you may need support with and also what you would hope to achieve from this – your outcomes.  This assessment could include for example talking to your GP, family or carer.

Not all assessments will finish with a service as help could come for example from community groups/classes, relatives, friends and neighbours.

Following the assessment you will be advised if you are eligible and will be offered your choice of the four options listed above.  You can choose one or more of the options to design a support plan that suits you.

These options will be fully discussed to enable you to make an informed choice about the responsibilities and flexibility that each option will carry.

Support Planning

You will be given an indication of how much money could be available and this will allow you and the assessor to work on a support plan. This support plan will have details of the activities, support you wish to include along with who will provide this. This could be provided by paid carers, agency staff, family, friends, neighbours for example.  A complete mixture.

The assessment and your support plan will be presented at a resource group who will make the final decision on funding.

You will then be advised of your final budget and be given details of how this will be paid, paperwork you are required to keep and how to account for your expenditure.

Get in Touch

If you already receive support from us and would like to to find out if you can receive support this way then ask your care manager or support worker. If you do not have any support then you can contact us yourself or you can ask someone to contact us on your behalf at: Access 1st