Councils have a long way to go to help people with care needs control their own support
Scottish councils still have a “substantial amount” of work to do to ensure people are able to fully access their legal right to control their own care.
Financial watchdog Audit Scotland has warned that progress towards self-directed support (SDS) is patchy across Scottish local authorities.
Councils still have a substantial amount of work to do to fully implement SDS
Under new laws that came into force in April this year, people who require care have the right to manage their own budget and employ their own staff.
The Self-Directed Support (SDS) Act means councils have to offer people direct payments through which they can fully manage their own care, or give them more control over what their care allowance is spent on.
This means people can choose to spend their money on activities they are interested in, such as sport or leisure pursuits, instead of having a professional decide activities for them.
However, councils will have to dramatically change the way they deliver social care as a result of self-directed support rights, the Audit Scotland report said.
There may be services that have to close, such as day-care centres, if few people chose them.
The report warned there is a danger that councils which don't listen and plan for what people really want will waste their budgets on unused services.
The report states: “Councils still have a substantial amount of work to do to fully implement SDS.
“Some have made slower progress than others and they will have to implement the cultural and practical changes more quickly over the next few years.”