The Autism Lead Officers and Support Providers Collaboratives met at the University of Strathclyde on Wednesday 14th September 2016. This was the second National Autism Co-ordination Project event of 2016, following the Autism Strategy Collaborative Business Meeting and Development Workshop held in April.
This September event offered delegates the opportunity to
- have a greater understanding of Strategic Commissioning and its role in locality planning and marketplace development
- have explored commissioning for outcomes for the individual, through Self –Directed Support
- be updated on the progress of the Scottish Strategy for Autism and its implications for providing services at a local level
- be updated on the national work of the Strategy’s Transitions Working Group
Following a welcome from Professor Jean Maclellan, Director of Autism Network Scotland, delegates were offered an update from Donald Macleod, National Autism Co-ordination Project Manager, on recent progress on commissioning of autism service provision in the local authorities recently visited by he and Prof. Maclellan.
James Fletcher, Director of the Association for Real Change Scotland and Chair of The Scottish Strategy for Autism’s Transitions Working Group, addressed the Autism Strategy Collaborative meeting on the impact of transitions guides on commissioning local services. James described the challenges of executing effective transitions in Scotland and the importance of co-ordination between stakeholders in the process at both local and national level, taking delegates through the 7 Principles of Good Transitions as outlined in the ARC Scotland document, ‘The Principles of Good Transitions 2‘. The third edition of the document will launch in the coming months featuring an Autism Supplement written by both ARC Scotland and Autism Network Scotland.
Christina Naismith, National Lead for Strategic Commissioning at the Scottish Government, described the development of the Strategic Commissioning Cycle and the features of good commissioning. She told the attendees, “It’s about meeting the specific needs of individuals…. self-directed support commissions some specific services but it’s about turning that into a system.”
Des McCart of Health Improvement Scotland’s improvement hub spoke to the Collaboratives about models of self-directed support and it’s use in delivering commissioned services to best meet the needs of individuals. Des went on to introduce Jaynie Mitchell and Elaine McTaggart of Inspiring Scotland, who offered personal and moving presentations on their own experiences of self-directed support. Jayne spoke on Partners in Policymaking, a programme supported by In Control Scotland to support families in Scotland. Elaine described the effects on her own family of self-directed support and how this inspired her to work for better opportunities for families in similar circumstances, telling delegates, “Respite is not about a building, it’s a state of mind.”
The cohort then broke into two workshops over the course of the afternoon, alternately discussing market facilitation in commissioning for SDS services and the realities of delivering self-directed support.
Discussing market facilitation, Donald Macleod, Dee Fraser, Deputy Director of Coalition of Care Providers in Scotland and Arlene Johnstone, Complex Case Planning Managerat NHS Highland, offered local authority leads, commissioners and service providers the opportunity to describe and discuss their successes and challenges for their own role in the commissioning process.
Professor Jean MacLellan and Chris Melling, Service Manager of NW Adult Services for Glasgow City Council, led discussions on the realities of delivering self-directed support. Chris offered her perspective of operating such services in Glasgow, while delegates described their own experiences in local authorities around Scotland in a period of austerity and uncertainty.
Professor Maclellan closed the event with a plenary discussion and the suggestion that future editions of such events will include representatives of both autism lead officers and service providers again, a prospect proven attractive in delegates’ feedback to the event. There is a palpable appetite for collaboration to improve understanding of stakeholders in the commissioning process for the benefit of service users across Scotland.
Presentations from the Day
- James Fletcher, Director, Association for Real Change Scotland and Chair of The Scottish Strategy for Autism’s Transitions Working Group – Impact of the transitions guides on commissioning local services
- Christina Naismith, National Lead for Strategic Commissioning, Scottish Government – Strategic Commissioning – The national strategic hopes and expectations
- Jaynie Mitchell, Inspiring Inclusion – Partners in Policymaking and self directed support