Where is the person in personalisation? Experiences of people with learning disabilities and their families in Glasgow

Young, Karen (2020) Where is the person in personalisation? Experiences of people with learning disabilities and their families in Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The shift towards the personalisation of social care ostensibly aims to enable people to exercise choice and control over their support. However, its implementation is taking place at the same time as the effects of austerity and welfare reform are being felt by disabled people and their families. Most notably for this thesis, the restructuring of learning disability services alongside the implementation of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 in Glasgow has resulted in the widespread closure of day centres for people with learning disabilities.

This study sets out to explore how policy change played out in the lives of disabled people and their families. It focuses particularly on the experiences of people with learning disabilities aged 30 and over, living in Glasgow. The formative experiences of this group took place before anti-discrimination legislation, and several participants had attended day centres for much of their adult lives. Additionally, many family carers were becoming less able to provide support themselves, adding further complexity to care arrangements.

It was very clear that policy change had affected daily lives and relationships of this group. There was little evidence of the values and principles underlying SDS in practice. Participants generally had negative experiences of interaction with services and professionals, and found SDS to be stressful and time consuming. Closure of day centres in Glasgow was a key issue for many families and had resulted in major changes to routines and relationships, as well as contributing to feelings of not being listened to and a lack of trust in powerful professionals.

Whilst budget cuts are an issue for local authorities and for families, this thesis suggests there are additional barriers to achieving the transformation of social care in Scotland. The key findings relate to the vast gap between SDS policy and practice, and the importance of collective spaces for people with learning disabilities and their families. As the ten-year strategy for SDS approaches its end, and the Scottish Government develops a programme to reform adult social care (Scottish Government, 2018a: 21), this thesis makes an original and important contribution to knowledge in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: social care, self-directed support, personalisation, learning disabilities, day centres, Glasgow.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Ferrie, Dr. Jo and Pearson, Dr. Charlotte
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Ms Karen Young
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81447
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 07:26
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2020 07:29
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81447

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