NHS Lothian Self-Directed Support Conference

Healthcare professionals from across Scotland were joined by the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, for the NHS Lothian Self-Directed Support Conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday 18 September 2012.

NHS, local authority and third sector employees will gather to discuss ‘What Self-Directed Support will mean for healthcare?’.

The conference marks three years since the start of a pilot – hosted in Lothian and later expanded to NHS Fife – to explore the implications of Self-Directed Support for health boards and their patients.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: “Tuesday is the day that the bill we have introduced on self-directed support will be debated in Parliament, so it is very timely that this conference is taking place.

“I am very much looking forward to hearing about the experiences of those involved in the pilot. People have made it clear that they want greater choice and control over the services that they receive. The draft Bill, together with our strategy on self-directed support, will help to underpin a significant change in social care provision, supporting more flexible, creative support and putting the citizen in charge.”

Professor Alex McMahon, Director of Strategic Planning and Primary Care, NHS Lothian, said: “The NHS Lothian pilot has given people living with long term conditions and the staff who support them the opportunity to work together to make decisions about how health outcomes are met through more creative interventions to support the patient to live independently for longer.

“Self-Directed Support in healthcare enables individuals to purchase and manage for themselves some or all of the care they have been assessed as needing. For instance, someone who currently attends a day service could instead be given a budget to manage and build their own care package to include an art class within a local college instead.”

Mary Watson, a participant in the NHS Lothian Self-Directed Support pilot, said: “I really miss being able to work and be around people - this has given me the chance to be around people again and do something for myself. I just feel more alive, part of the human race and feel fitter and more able to participate.”

The conference, ‘What will Self-Directed Support mean to healthcare’ will aim to address the following topics:

  • Raise awareness of Self-Directed Support in healthcare through the findings from the Lothian & Fife test sites.
  • Provide an opportunity to discuss the impact that integration may have on health & social care and the individual supported by the care system.
  • Provide an opportunity to learn about the findings of the Department of Health’s Personal Health Budget pilot.
  • Provide an opportunity for networking with people with similar interests.
You can listen to an interview with Allie Cherry, Programme Manager, Self-Directed Suport test site, NHS Lothian by clicking here.

Issued on: 18 September 2012

David Ridd
Communications Officer
NHS Lothian


18/09/2012