SDS re Residential Packages

Opinion: Residential packages (value of) should be included as part of an SDS budget, rather than kept separate and inaccessible to service users.

My views on this stem from a background in child disability services, in which families are provided with yearly overnight packages. A single overnight is costly and, from my experience, if the value of this was accessible to the families they may chose a different support that could be more beneficial. As an example, a family provided with 15 overnights a year could drop one night and utilise that budget for different support that they feel may have a greater positive impact, but currently this doesn’t seem to be an option.

Id be interested to hear opinions/experiences on this!

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We did exactly that!
We asked how much the residential care placement (that wasn’t working) cost. After a while they told us £1700 a week!
Boy, oh boy could we get better outcomes for that.

We used a visual SDS tool called 247grid and designed the support that gave our son a good life…
We couldn’t spend all of the £1700 (See attached)
We only needed to ask for £832 of it!

So yes…
I believe we should all be told the value of the services we are currently receiving and if we can do better for the same cost or less, then we should be offered the opportunity through SDS options.

10 years on…
My son would still be in that residential care home at £1700 a week… but with personalised , enabling support in his own home, with innovative use of assistive technology and community support… my son only needs £198 a week now


Our family had a total of 28 days a year overnight respite a year in a large residential setting.
It was also had crisis support beds, so often a stressful environment.
It wasn’t working for my sons.

We plucked up courage to ask how much does this cost. “£2000 a week”.

We took a 1/3 of this sum as a Direct Payment, booked regular weekends in a small self catering cottage at £35 a night along with a PA instead.
We still got our break, but He had a peaceful setting Practising his independent skills… it was a win/win for everyone!
It is important all careplans are open and transparent about the outcomes that have been agreed and the real costs of proposed commissioned services, so people can make an informed decision to ‘self direct’ the outcomes in their care plan through option 1/option 2