Embarking on self-directed support in Scotland: a focused scoping review of the literature

Jill Manthorpe*, Stephen Martineau, Julie Ridley, Michelle Cornes, Ann Rosengard, Susan Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents findings from a focused scoping review of the published literature on self-directed support (SDS), the term adopted by the Scottish Government to refer to its policy to improve social care outcomes and choices for people using publicly funded services and to distinguish it from personalisation, the term more commonly used in England, and from consumer-directed-care and cash for counselling. The review was undertaken to inform an evaluation of the early adopters of SDS, funded by the Scottish Government 2009–2011, and was updated with later literature. It focused on the evidence base available to inform the Test Sites' (pilot local authorities) efforts to reduce bureaucracy or ‘red tape’ for people choosing their own social care and support; the available evidence about leadership and training to support these changes and about the use of specific transitional funding to ease the process of implementation. The findings of the literature review around these three themes are presented and discussed. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential for such focused literature reviews to inform policy-makers, researchers, and social work practitioners across Europe of the options available when seeking to combine rapid yet rigorous approaches to evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • personalisation
  • Scotland
  • self-directed support
  • social care
  • social work


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