Health and Social Care

SDS and Integration: How DPO’s can affect change

September 3, 2015 by No Comments | Category Uncategorized

Why are User-led Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) so important to the development of SDS and health and social care integration?

Health and Social Care Integration; it feels like big stuff. Talk of joint working teams, single management structures, agreed decision making protocols… it can sometimes feel quite daunting. So what’s it really all about and where should we start? At its heart, integration is about ensuring that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey. It’s the outcomes for disabled people that matter the most and they need to be involved and engaged in the development of any new structures that are being built around integration. To do this successfully, there needs to be not just the kinds of structural change mentioned above, but also a cultural change to make service provision more user-led and user-focussed.

SDSS is a disabled people’s user-led organisation, born out of the Independent Living Movement, where disabled people have fought and struggled to have equality of access and support to enable them to be active citizens in their own community. This is the place that Disabled People’s Organisations are coming from – equality, rights, choice and control. This is what informs their practise.

So, if Health and Social Care Integration was being organised by disabled people and their organisations, what would they focus on? In 2012, Independent Living In Scotland, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, SDSS, Glasgow Disability Alliance and Inclusion Scotland produced the 5 asks document, which highlighted the need for:

  1. A focus on independent living, equality and human rights throughout health and social care integration.
  2. Disabled people to be considered as full and equal stakeholders and co-producers in health and social care integration, with their lived experience recognised as being of central value to the process.
  3. Disabled people to be involved in leading development and decision-making, including how resources and money are spent, how eligibility is defined and how assessment takes place.
  4. The self-directed support and integration agendas to work together to promote seamless care provision.
  5. An understanding of the current levels of unmet need and the real cost of health and social care, which must then inform the budget-setting process.

So not only would Health and Social Care Integration be based on equality of user involvement, but all levels of decision-making, including resource allocation, would be informed by users’ needs, views, concerns and priorities, with the explicit aim of promoting independent living, equality and human rights.

How different would Scotland’s and Health and Social Care Services be if a ‘user-led’ approach was adopted? Choice, control and citizenship – we continue to hope.

1 It’s our world too: 5 asks for a better Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill (ILIS 2012)

For further information on SDSS please go to:

Our website –

Our twitter page – @SDSScot

Our youtube channel –

Tags: , , , , , ,


Leave a comment