Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland
Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

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Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

4.8 Summary of key points

  • The way in which the risks associated with personalisation are perceived depends very much on the perspective of those involved. If risk is to be taken, then it will inevitably go wrong sometimes – otherwise it is a certainty, not a risk.
  • Associating risk with bad outcomes ignores the possibility that there may also be benefits to the person or people involved. Instead we end up focusing only on reducing or eliminating risks.
  • The law in Scotland sets out the rights of adults to make decisions, including decisions about risk. Children also have rights, including the right to be protected from harm. Parents have rights to look after their children and are responsible for keeping their children safe. Parents must also have regard to children's views depending on their age and maturity.
  • Addressing risk in personalisation means grappling with the tensions between the rights of people to be safe on the one hand and the benefits that may follow from empowering people to control their own care (if they have the ability and want to) on the other.
  • Risk has to be negotiated in the context of the individual and their lives. People's right to equality of access to choice and control in their care and support is a central guiding principle when balancing their rights with potential risk of harm.
  • Both real and perceived risks of adverse outcomes need to be addressed if personalisation is to succeed. This requires collaborative action by service users, carers, personal assistants, professionals, organisations and the Scottish Government.
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