Des has a varied background having started off studying Social Geography at Edinburgh University and attaining a MA (Hons) degree. From this general person-focused studying he went on to volunteering with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and financial advocacy work. He then moved into working with homelessness services and worked for West Lothian Council in various roles in providing direct support to people experiencing homelessness and then developing services particularly for young homeless people.
Having developed various services for homeless people in West Lothian Des moved on to developing a range of services under the Supporting People framework and these provided for all care group needs, from Mental Health to Learning Disabilities as well as Older People amongst others. This developed into a role in contract management and commissioning.
Since 2006 Des has been the Contracts and Commissioning Manager at Falkirk Council where he has worked on developing collaborative commissioning practices such as Public Social Partnerships and since 2011 he has worked closely with the self-directed support agenda overseeing it’s development in the Falkirk area.
Des is currently on secondment with the Joint Improvement Team, as the National Co-ordinator for SDS and Commissioning. The role provides support to all sectors on best practice, which can support the co-development of SDS alongside the Integration of Health and Social Care.