Sally*, a mother of a disabled child was referred for Direct Payments as she did not feel her daughter’s care needs were being met by the agency providing support. Sally’s daughter has complex care needs and she needs support 24 hours a day.
Sally had experienced two major challenges with the agency. First, the agency was not providing cover when the allocated agency worker was unable to work. Secondly, she struggled when her daughter was admitted to hospital and the agency would not allow its workers to provide support there.
These challenges have motivated her to be on Direct Payments and have more control over who was going to provide support for her daughter. She came to talk to one of our experts and the benefits this scheme could bring to her daughter were explained.
We supported her writing and advertising her bespoke vacancy. We then helped carry out the interview in our offices.
Sally was supported with liaising with her Social Worker when the agency did not provide support and the team at PSiC stepped in to ensure that her PAs would be paid on time.
She has now successfully recruited three PAs, she says the process has completely changed her life, making her more relaxed and assured that she doesn’t have to worry about the continuity and quality of care her daughter is getting, and that her daughter has developed a wonderful and trusting relationship with the PAs.
Direct Payments are often associated with providing carers (PAs) or care agencies, but in reality they can be used in flexible ways to achieve the service user’s desired outcome. Here we present a case study for one such use.
We received a referral for a client who is a carer for her disabled husband. She was due to receive a one off payment of £400 following a carer’s assessment. It had been agreed that the client would use the funds to pay for a holiday.
Having signed and sent back the Direct Payment agreement form, the client informed us that she was not sure if she can go abroad any longer as her husband was unwell. We discussed the possibility of the funds being used for a different purpose. The client stated that she has monthly massages to alleviate her back pain and help her relax.
We then liaised with the social worker and explained that the client would like to use the one-off payment as for massages, and made a case as to why this would still fall into the Direct Payment remit.
The social worker later confirmed that the client can receive the funds as long as she kept the receipts for monitoring purposes. We informed the client that she would be receiving £40, she was happy because to date she had been spending money from her personal finances for the massages, she stated it would be a great help to her to have the £400.
She has used the massages to great effect and now says she feels it aids her greatly in relaxation and therefore in her caring role.