What is self-directed support?

Self-directed support (SDS) gives you more flexibility, choice, and control over the care and support you need. It means you can decide where, when and in what way you get your support. You can also have as little, or as much help as you want to arrange your support.

Woman sitting next to a dog on a beach

How do I get self-directed support?

You need to take part in an assessment to determine if you are eligible for self-directed support. A professional will help you complete this assessment and identify your estimated budget. You may need to contribute financially towards your support. Most people come into contact with health and social care professionals through a referral.
You can either self-refer or have a referral completed on your behalf by:
  • Relatives or carers
  • Health and social care staff
  • GP or acute hospital staff
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Education professionals or teachers
  • Court system officers

What are my self-directed support choices?

There are four methods that you can choose from to help you plan, pay for and manage your support. A professional will help you choose a support plan and agree your individual budget. You will be financially assessed and may need to contribute towards your support. Self-directed Support will not affect any benefits that you receive.

The support plan options are:

Direct payment:

You can use the budget provided to arrange and manage your own support. You can do this through a personal assistant or provider agency.

Individual service fund:

We will arrange your preferred method of support for you. You and your chosen provider will work together to agree how to deliver your care.

Arranged service:

We will choose, arrange and manage the support that is best for you.

Mixture of all three options:

A combination of the above three options can be chosen. For example: a personal assistant to help with washing and dressing (direct payment) and attend daycare for social interaction and being part of your community (arranged services).

Who can help me with SDS queries?

Our independent living adviser can provide advice and guidance on all SDS options, as well as employment law.

Contact us

  • To find out how we can help, please call 01294 476148
  • Independent Living Adviser, North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. Caley Court Resource Centre, Moorpark Road West, Stevenston KA20 3HU

Ayrshire independent living network (AILN)

AILN provides free advice and support about SDS. They work with partner organisations to provide solutions for people who want to explore self-directed support.

You can visit AILN’s accessible offices or an experienced SDS advisor will visit you in your own home.

Contact ailn

  • To find out how Ayrshire Independent Living Network can help, please call 01294 475685
  • Ayrshire Independent Living Network, The Michael Lynch Centre for Enterprise, 71 Princes Street, Ardrossan KA22 8DG