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Glasgow Portal to go live by end of month

Glasgow Portal to go live by end of month | Self Directed Support Newsletters |

Glasgow City Council has announced its Your Support Your Way Portal will go live to the general public by the end of November.

The portal aims to act as a one-stop-shop for service users, carers, families, provider and council staff to access information on providers of support in Glasgow.

GCC will be encouraging service users to use the Portal to find the support service(s) they need to live their life by the end of the month.

GCC launched this portal to Providers in September to allow you to input or add details of your organisation and it is now in the process of producing materials (posters / flyers / pens) to promote the website.


These materials will shortly be distributed to numerous locations including social work offices; GP surgeries; hospitals; libraries; Carers Centres etc for these organisations to promote the Portal.


Any provider organisation who is maintaining their own record will also automatically be provided with supplies of these materials. If you would like to collect some promotional materials then please let the portal team know and they will advise when these are ready to be uplifted.


Please take the time to check that your organisation is listed on Your Support Your Way Glasgow – this ensures the Portal provides a range of information on services – not just information on GCC services and provides choice for service users.


How to Guides to help you either request to be added to the Portal or request to maintain your information are available on the Portal.


If you experience any problems with using Your Support Your Way Glasgow please contact

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Blog: Equal Say calls for SDS Referrals after forming new post

Blog: Equal Say calls for SDS Referrals after forming new post | Self Directed Support Newsletters |

By Roddy Wallace, advocacy co-ordinator, Equal Say


Much has changed since Equal Say stepped out from the long shadow cast by Lennox Castle in the mid-90s. At the time, our job as advocates was to help former ‘patients’ (people with learning disabilities who, don’t forget, weren’t ‘sick’ in the first place) assimilate to a new way of living in communities, fighting social isolation and making sure every individual had a voice.


The way we did this was by promoting a model of Citizen Advocacy which  encouraged Glaswegians – neighbours, friends, allies – to stand up for each other in times of need.


Like the Castle today, Equal Say is barely recognisable at first glance, but our foundations remain strong. Volunteer advocacy is still a big part of our identity and a belief in the value of citizenship for all still influences our practice every day.


However, as the landscape of social care has shifted, so too has our advocacy response. We have found that the increasingly complex social work procedures involving people with learning disabilities have altered the nature of advocacy interventions, with much of our work now done by paid advocates operating within a framework of Adults with Incapacity, Mental Health, and Adult Support and Protection legislation.


This continuing evolution has led to an increased awareness of advocacy roles within certain areas of social care. The increase in Guardianship Orders under AWI, for example, has led to a further need for people’s past and present wishes to be heard and acknowledged; referrers (that could be you – anyone can pick up the phone and talk to us) have become more expectant of an active advocacy presence in Adult Support and Protection procedures. And our most recent adaptations have been in response to the implementation of Self-Directed Support.


The language of SDS - “choice, control, partnership, participation” - has long been in an advocate’s phrasebook and this ‘natural fit’ led the Scottish Government to fund a post specifically for an SDS advocacy worker in Glasgow early this year.


More recently still, Equal Say has been successful in gaining financial support from the Autism Strategy fund via Glasgow City Council, and has employed a worker to provide advocacy for people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) involved in the SDS process.


This means we are now calling on providers to pass on to us any SDS related referrals.  Already, we’ve played an active role in representing the views of people at the Risk Enablement Panels; now we want to further develop ways in which advocacy can respond to the needs of people with learning disabilities in the process of SDS.  So what might anSDS referral look like?

The answer depends partly on you, the referrer.


There’s no question that there are some very valid traditional advocacy roles within SDS. We continue to support people to put their point across at meetings and can help people to contribute their views to the SEQ; we will always attempt to uphold fundamental rights and intervene when there is a feeling that something is ‘wrong’ (e.g. unjustifiably large cuts in Individual Budgets); we have listened to people’s priorities and found ways to tailor support plans around those wishes.


Indeed, we are interested to hear your thoughts on any advocacy issue (people being excluded from decision-making, voices not being heard, rights being denied) at any stage of the SDS process. As always, we seek out those at risk of being forgotten, overlooked or ignored.


But, additionally, I see these new SDS posts as an opportunity to help make real the imagination behind the policy. Why not challenge us to do so? We are enthusiastic to speak to anyone who wants to use the choice and control afforded by SDS to its full potential.


Perhaps you know somebody who is getting ready to leave an Additional Support for Learning school and has clear ideas about how they want to live their adult life; we can help them think about how to fill the ‘blank canvas’ of their support plan and ensure that people listen.


Perhaps someone with an ASC feels that they want their support organised on their own terms; we can support them to explore their options and consider the choices that are right for them.


Perhaps there are people who you think might benefit from taking control of their support through the system of direct payment; we can help them to make the most of their Individual Budget in a flexible and person-centred way.


In each of these ways, and more, Equal Say’s structural independence puts us in a unique position to respond to the individual, promoting choice, strengthening voices and contributing to the ‘cultural shift’ in the delivery of care and support originally envisaged by SDS policy. It would be good to hear what you think…


Equal Say Advocacy, 11-13 Dowanhill Street, GLASGOW, G11 5QS
Tel: 0141 337 3133 | Email: roddy [@]


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Positive SDS stories: Fair Deal, GCIL, Capability Scotland and more!

Positive SDS stories: Fair Deal, GCIL, Capability Scotland and more! | Self Directed Support Newsletters |
Fair Deal support worker Sarah-Jane says that since the implementation of Self-Directed Support, Laura has grown and blossomed as a person – becoming a lot more independent and confident in herself.


Listen to Sarah-Jane's podcast and read testemonies from all of the service users and support workers interviewed by Susan Campbell as part of Social Care Ideas Factory's Inspirers Project through this link:


Read about Michael, Joan and Marie from GCIL's experiences here:





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Your SDS Questions answered

Your SDS Questions answered | Self Directed Support Newsletters |

October saw Social Care Ideas Factory host a Provider Café event, which gave providers the opportunity to feed-back to SCIF as to their experiences and thoughts on where they are at in terms of implementing Personalisation within their own organisations.


The event, which was held as part of Trade School Glasgow was also a chance for organisations to voice any good news stories and concerns as well as a chance for social care providers to get together and find out what's going on in each other's areas. 


Following the Café event, SCIF took some of the questions and issues raised by providers from the session to Glasgow City Council and these have been answered by Raymond Bell below. 

If you have any further questions on Personalisation and Self-Directed Support which you would like GCC to answer, please email 


Your questions will be anonymised, unless you specifically state otherwise. 


Social Care Ideas Factory: What is the plan for physical disabilities – how do you see the SDS rolling out across that sector?
Raymond Bell: SWS have nearly concluded the implementation for Physical Disability service users. Largely we expect this to be done by 31st December 2012. We are currently carrying out a sweep of our information systems to ensure anyone receiving services has been re-assessed and has a new agreed Outcome Based Support Plan (OBSP) and Individual Budget (IB).


We have approximately 100 new service users who want to access support and we will assess those individuals as quickly as possible. Areas have been reminded that for urgent cases they can agree short term Interventions to ensure that social care need is met for individuals. All of the service users should be assessed by 31st march 2012 at the latest. Thereafter our plan for PD will be to assess new services users and arrange services when this is agreed and programme annual reviews for those service users who have agreed OBSPs and IBs.

SCIF: Feedback from providers about the risk enablement panels showed that whilst in some cases these were successful, all the cases are subject to review. The claim is that once a case is reviewed then it stops being Personalisation. Do you agree? And how could this be addressed please?
RB: In all REPs decisions were made and care plans agreed. These have been implemented. All service users will continue in personalisation and will be subject to re assessment and new OBSPs as required. I would ideally need a couple of examples from providers which we could use as redacted exemplars to explain this more clearly as there may be a level of mis-understanding.


SCIF: What can people spend their budget on? I.e: short breaks /respite (not holidays) and transport? There seems to be an issue of miscommunication or interpretation, even within teams. Feedback from our event showed that it can be hard to understand where it begins and what's accurate? Can you shed light on this please?
RB: This is the extract from our guidance which is publicly available on the councils website:

What can the IB be spent on?
When a person has been allocated an individual budget, workers are often asked to give information on what the money can and cannot be used for. It is important for workers to remember that Self Directed Support is designed to allow much greater flexibility in how social work monies can be spent. As stated above, the important thing is that the money is being spent in ways that help the person achieve the outcomes in the support plan. Below is a list of examples of how people can spend their budget. (This is a comprehensive list, but it should not be seen as an exhaustive list.)


1. Direct Support
This could be from an agency or a Personal Assistant. People can buy support to help them meet the needs outlined in their SEQ and Outcome Based support Plan. Only in exceptional circumstances can a relative be employed as a PA. This request needs to go to a centre Head of Service or above in Adult Care Services for approval.

2. Work and Learning
People can use their IB to help them get to college or training courses. People can spend money to help them get a job or return to work. It should be noted that responsibility for educational support rests with the educational establishment. Social care support can be used to facilitate attendance. We will meet people’s assessed need for social care support when we assess they need this.

3. Being Part of the Community
IB’s can be used to support people to access community activities, this can include paying for staff support, paying membership fees for clubs and courses etc. People can choose to spend money on support to go away with family and friends rather than using traditional respite services so long as it still meets the outcomes associated with sustaining a carer’s ability to continue providing support.

4. Eligible adaptations, Assistive Technology or other appropriate forms of equipment
People can use the money to purchase assistive technology or equipment. This would include equipment that prevents someone falling, or that keeps people safe. Alarms and alert systems, computer equipment to help with communication, lightweight ramps for wheelchair access, can all be considered if it makes sense for a particular person.

5. Supporting People’s Health and Well Being
Money can be used for support in doing things like going to the gym etc. The money can be used to meet the costs of support workers assisting people attend the activity as well as support workers fees/memberships. This sort of participation could encompass a wide range of physical activities, such as, support to go swimming, help to go to weight loss classes and support to go to the GP and other medical appointments.

6. Legal Rewards/Payments in Kind
Friends, family and neighbours can give people lots of support that is free or can be traded in exchange, an example of this is, support from a friend to go to the football in return for the occasional tank of petrol. This type of support needs to be agreed in advance in the Outcome Based Support Plan.

7. Holidays
Money can be used to support individuals to go on holiday. It cannot be used by the individual to pay for their holiday. It may be appropriate that people use their IB to fund the holiday costs of support staff, their wages and their transport costs.

8. Transport
Staff should encourage people to use their DLA Mobility Allowance to meet transport costs of accessing social work support as outlined in the OBSP. This will allow maximum use of council resources to purchase support. This is consistent with the council’s charging policy. If this is not possible then transport costs can be met from the IB.

What an IB Can Not Be Used For: People will sometimes want to spend their IB in a way that you are unsure about. At these times it is important to talk things through with the person, so you both understand how the use of the money relates to the outcomes they want to achieve. If you are still unsure you should speak to your team leader or supervisor. You can also ask someone from the Personalisation and SDS Team.


An IB cannot be used in the following ways:
· Anything which is against the law, including employment law (People need to pay statutory minimum wage and need to declare all earnings in the appropriate legal manner)
· Anything involving gambling
· Financial Investments
· Healthcare needs that should be met by the NHS
· Paying for things that other sources of income should cover- This includes alcohol, tobacco, grocery shopping, clothes, and personal entertainment. An individual who wishes to attend a concert or sporting event should pay for their own ticket. If they require a support person to go with them the individual can using their IB to fund the supporter’s ticket. Individuals will be encouraged to meet travel costs from the DLA mobility component of their benefits. This will allow them to maximise the support they can purchase from their Individual Budget. A holiday or short break is only eligible for funding from an individual’s IB, where it is clearly providing respite for an unpaid carer. Rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, home improvements, repair and maintenance costs can not be funded from the IB.
· The IB must only be used for the purposes of achieving the agreed outcomes identified in the Outcome Based Support Plan.

What an IB may be used for with careful consideration
Employing family members can take place in exceptional circumstances only. This is in line with the current legislation. The arguments against employing relatives are to do with possible conflicts of interest, and problems associated with formalising informal support arrangements.

The council is also not responsible for funding unpaid carers into employment. If you think that exceptional circumstances apply to the individual you are working with, you should seek early guidance from your manager. It would be unhelpful for individuals (and workers) to go through the support planning process assuming that relatives can be employed without first getting some in principle agreement. Exceptional circumstances may apply where an individual is receiving palliative care or where there are compelling reasons why the support needs to be provided by a relative. The decision to employ a relative requires to be authorised by a Head of Service in Adult Care Services.


More general information can be found in sections 110 – 114.

Individuals can not use their IB to purchase equipment that is usually provided by the Health Board for example a hearing aid. Nor can an IB be used as a substitute for Disabled Persons Home Improvement Grant/Scheme of Assistance awards or adaptations to properties.

· It is expected that healthcare needs will be met by the NHS. In exceptional circumstances complementary health care may be purchased if it achieves the outcomes an individual’s records in their support plan.

SCIF: Where does the client charge sit if working in partnership arrangement?
RB: If I understand this right the question relates to who collects the charge when there are more than one provider. The main or primary provider will be expected to recover the client contribution.

SCIF: Providers are trying to innovate, but this is driven by cost. A provider will, in theory deliver the service which is requested to them by the individual, however if people themselves haven’t had the time or knowledge to develop their own care plan– and the provider doesn't have the cash-flow to innovate at will – how will new, creative services be delivered in Glasgow?
RB: At its simplest providers will need to develop a business plan which allows them to position themselves in the market to attract this business. They should seek support through the normal business developments supports such at Glasgow Regeneration Agency, use SCIF as a vehicle for creating development information. I presume they would need to develop their own financial framework.


At the heart of this I am presuming is the question of pump riming some development. We don’t have a formal policy around this but certainly haven’t as yet identified areas where we would need to do this. We are of course working with other agencies such as Glasgow Life who seem willing to look at innovative solutions using their mainstream resources.

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Self-Directed Support in Glasgow in Numbers

Self-Directed Support in Glasgow in Numbers | Self Directed Support Newsletters |

Glasgow City Council has given us an update of where it's at in terms of implementing Self-Directed Support across the city.


These figures are accurate at the time of writing from 17th October 2012.


Speaking about the figures, Glasgow City Council's Raymond Bell said: "It’s easy to dismiss this as solely numbers but there is nothing surer than the fact of you don’t do the assessments and care plan there can be no quality.

"At this point we will have made Personalisation and Self Directed Support for all Physical Disability Service users the default position in the city. The exceptions will be individuals out of Glasgow, people who access Occupational Therapy service only and those in registered care home facilities.

"We will have made Personalisation and Self Directed Support for people with Mental Health who are known to social work services the default position in the city. The exceptions will be individuals out of Glasgow, people who access Occupational Therapy service only and those in registered care home facilities.

"We will have made Personalisation and Self Directed Support for young people in transition the default position in the city. We expect some 100 individuals to come into adult care services in the next financial year and we will as in the 2 previous years ensure they have their assessed needs fully met.

"I expect as with the previous two years service users will get more support as adults for social care than they got as children. The £7.5 million redistributed as planned over three years to new demand largely goes to this group.

"We will have largely implemented our strategy of fair and equal access to social work resources across all client groups. IE that comparative level of resources is made available to comparative levels of need.

"In the next year we would hope that the Scottish Government will show some leadership on the issues of eligibility criteria. If they don’t we will. 

"We will extend our Personalisation and Self Directed Support to all service users with learning disability next year."

Self-directed support in numbers

3,723 the number assessments started by completing the Self Evaluation Questionnaire’s with service users and other key stakeholders. 3313 Completed SEQs 

2,467 the number of Outcome Based Support Plans with started with service users. 1777 - the number of Outcome Based Support Plans completed

144 service users’ needs and risks have been referred to Risk Enablement Panels. So far GCC has completed 145 reviews.

GCC has concluded 142 of the Risk Enablement Panel decisions and its audit of the initial circa 100 of these is available to providers. GCC has already shared it publicly with some carers.

Broken down further by client group the details are as follows:

Physical disability

817SEQs started - 755 have been completed

642 Outcome Based Support Plans started - 515 completed
4 service users’ risks and needs have been referred to Risk Enablement Panels. 3 have been concluded

Learning Disability

784 SEQs started, 588 completed

605 Outcome Based Support Plans started - 257 completed

Mental Health

SEQs started: 830 SEQs completed 709

325 - the number of Outcome Based Support Plans started. 189, the number of Outcome Based Support Plans completed 

Please note: GCC is now only reporting what is captured on Carefirst which means that it will be under reporting performance pending data clean up.
It has also used the Short Term Intervention facility to ensure no-one in the city has unmet needs.


GCC has used this 473 times so far and 225 are still in place.


Outstanding work to be completed 

413 Self Evaluation Questionnaires, 690 Outcome Based Support Plans

At the current rate of completion this will take a further 10 months, and, at best, the rate of completion will be completed by end of March 2012.

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Q&A: The impact of Personalisation on GCIL

Q&A: The impact of Personalisation on GCIL | Self Directed Support Newsletters |

Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL) is a user-controlled organisation committed to promoting inclusive living by assisting disabled people to challenge barriers and make informed choices.


Social Care Ideas Factory spoke to chief executive Etienne d'Aboville about what the implementation of Personalisation in Glasgow has meant to the organisation and how the people it supports are adapting to the changes.  


Social Care Ideas Factory: When did GCIL start working through the SDS process?
Etienne d'Aboville: We’ve been supporting people using the old Independent Living Service and then direct payments since 1996. More specifically, we’ve been involved with self-directed support in Glasgow since the roll-out of personalisation began last year, but much more so since it was extended to people with physical impairments. Now that everyone who used to receive direct payments under the old system is going through the SDS re-assessment process, it’s affecting most of the 400-500 people we are currently working with in the city.


SCIF: What has been GCIL’s experience of working with SDS so far?
Ed'A: To be honest, the process has been frustrating to some degree, not least because, over the years, we have been very strong advocates for direct payments - the precursor to SDS. We always felt that direct payments could and should have been more successful had it been implemented more vigorously and more flexibly.


It’s just very unfortunate that what we’re seeing now is the policy being rolled at a time where we’re experiencing such severe financial constraints. The impact is that it’s giving SDS a bad name, whereas, if it could have been done at a different time, it may have been possible to resource it more realistically.


Nevertheless, I think it’s incumbent on us all to try and ensure that the systems and processes that underpin self-directed support are rolled out in a way that is as empowering as possible for the individual. Like many support organisations or providers, GCIL is currently reviewing the way we do things and how we can best support people using Individual Budgets and, of course, how this will be resourced in the future.


But I think as a society we need to address the bigger issue of how we resource social care more generally and recognise that we are nearing crisis point and it’s only a matter of time before the way we do things just now becomes untenable in the future.


SCIF: What are the types of services that GCIL offers its users under Self-Directed Support?

Ed'A:What we can currently offer people is primarily support with making informed choices on how they wish to use funding, what form they wish to take funding in - direct payment, individual service fund etc - and, of course, ongoing help in managing a support package.


The majority of our experience over the years has been in helping people who want to manage their own funding to recruit their own personal assistants, use agencies, or often a combination of the two. We can help with: recruitment, interviewing, drafting adverts, job descriptions, managing workers, etc or identifying, interviewing and contracting with agencies.


We also offer training on how the SDS system works, good practice in managing PAs etc. And we have an emergency telephone service which is staffed 24/7 in case people need help booking cover in an emergency.


We also help people with their monitoring – and that accounts for a lot of the time that we help and support people – probably more than we originally envisaged. We have a payroll service too which can either provide payslips only, or which can pay PAs or agencies directly. Essentially, we can help people to keep track of their budgets and provide the necessary reports for funders.


Having said that though, we are, as I say, currently researching how our services need to change so that we’re better equipped to provide the right kind of support to wider groups of people using Individual Budgets in new and creative ways. In that sense we see the current shift in SDS policy and practice as a positive challenge and an opportunity to spread the potential benefits of SDS to more disabled people more of the time.


SCIF: Is it a case where most people choose to pay their workers themselves or do most people choose to go through GCIL?
Ed'A: I’d say the majority still pay their own workers as that used to be the only option, but that’s changing and I can only see that side of things increasing. What would be helpful is if the local authority would agree to pay SDS funding directly to GCIL (with the authority of the individual, of course) as many people don’t want to have to open a bank account and deal with the money at all.


Has GCIL had to change much as an organisation to work within SDS?
Ed'A: One of our big issues for us has been how much time people will have to support individuals. We've found we’re having to work more smartly and efficiently with people. For example, whereas before we may have brought someone in by taxi for a face to face meeting, now, if we can possibly do it over the phone, we may do that. We’re also starting to look at how we can be more creative in the way we communicate with people, for instance using digital media such as Skype.


SCIF: What’s been the reaction from your service users to SDS so far?
Ed'A: Sadly, it’s been pretty mixed. What’s so frustrating about SDS for many of our service users is that, prior to its implementation, they had what they considered a decent package of support based on a reasonable budget. They took it as a direct payment, they had the control they wanted and it was all working very well.


It’s no secret that when people have been reassessed, their needs haven’t changed but their budgets have still been cut. We recognise that the overall budget has been spread differently, but I think from a personal point of view that’s not how people see it. So it has been quite upsetting for a lot of people. 

Having said that there are instances where people have managed to make their new budget work quite well.


But you can’t help feeling that, overall, we’re getting further and further away from the principles and ideals of Independent Living, in other words, looking at people’s ability to act as equal citizens in the broadest possible sense, and closer and closer to a basic kind of ‘life and limb’ model of support. And that’s very limited in terms of what most people would expect out of their lives.


SCIF: Do you have any positive stories which have come from GCIL’s experiences of SDS to date?
Ed'A: Well there are some people who have put together really good flexible packages of support who probably defy the stereotype of who can and can’t manage their own funding. With the right type and level of support, anything’s possible.


The most important consideration is what gives each person the right balance for them between choice, control and responsibility. Let’s be clear, properly resourced and supported, SDS is a fantastic option for people who have so often in past had to put up with inflexible and dependency-creating services. 


SCIF: What lessons has GCIL learned from SDS?
Ed'A: I suppose we realised very quickly that we’re going to be operating in a much more competitive marketplace in the future. This means that we need to make sure that we get across a much clearer message about who we are, what we do, and who can benefit from it.


We need to sell ourselves more directly to people in that way as we think we have something unique to offer as a Disabled People’s Organisation (ie an organisation run by and for disabled people) and we don’t want to lose that. Also, I think we’ve sometimes been perceived as only working with people with physical impairments but that’s not strictly true. In practice, only about 60% of our support service users fall into that category.


SCIF: Has the way you’ve provided services to users changed since SDS came in?
Ed'A: Yes and no. Much of what we do is the same, but done in a slightly different way. One thing that’s still a little unclear is how much our advisers will be involved in aspects of planning such as completing SEQs and support plans in the longer term and how this will fit in with the care managers’ role. Before, we used to suggest people kept a ‘diary of daily needs’ to determine what kind of support they needed and it was an effective way of helping someone through the assessment and planning process.


The SEQ has superseded that, of course, but some people feel it doesn't manage to capture a full picture of their support needs. It’s looking increasingly likely that, as SDS rolls out for more impairment groups, a ‘one size fits all’ SEQ won’t work for everyone. That’s quite a challenge because there still needs to be some kind of equity (for example of minimum outcomes) across all groups whilst still being able to include things that are specific to an individual.


SCIF: What are GCIL’s plans for the future around SDS?
Ed'A: One thing we would like to do is use technology more effectively. We see using tablet computers as one way that some of our service users could access support more easily. We're currently working on developing a web-based SDS Management System with a company called Intrelate.


Our intention is that service users will have access to the front end of the system and be able to manage their information: budget, support plan, rotas etc, if they want to. Our advisers will have access to the ‘back office’ part which will act as a case management system amongst other things and also allow the adviser and the service user to look at the same information at the same time.


If people want to employ PA's then that information would be recorded, and the work rotas will automatically feed payroll information through to the payroll service. I’m sure there are lots of possibilities which we haven’t even begun to explore yet – for example, using tablets to book emergency support or to manage bank accounts on-line.


In principle, this should be a flexible and empowering way of helping individuals manage their support, hopefully without losing the ‘human touch’ that we know people value a lot. I’m hoping we will be able to make a convincing case for investing in this kind of system as cost-effective and empowering way of rolling out SDS in the future.

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