Direct Payments and arranging your own home care services

Choice, support & independence - choosing what's best for you with Direct Payments

What is a Direct Payment?

Direct Payments provide you with more flexibility in the way you receive your care.

By receiving payments to select your own care and support, rather than receiving support directly from social services, you're given greater choice. You decide who supports you, what time and how you're supported.

Following an assessment from your local Social Services, you have the right to ask for Direct Payments instead of having the care service arranged for you. This gives you the opportunity to use your Direct Payments in a number of ways including:

  • Personal care and support
  • Domestic help around the home
  • Outings and social activities
  • Short-term residential care
  • Keeping up your hobbies
  • Attending medical appointments

You can use your Direct Payments for whatever help you need, whether it’s socialising, help in your home, or both. Your care and support plan aims to help you to achieve personal goals as well as look after your basic support needs.

Who can get Direct Payments?

Direct payments are available for people who are:

  • Older and need social care services
  • Over 16 with a Physical or Learning Disability
  • Disabled Parents
  • A family carer (over 16)

How do I get assessed for Direct Payments?

If you need to know more about Direct Payments, how to get assessed for qualification, or what you are allowed to spend it on, visit the NHS Choices website.

Your options for Direct Payments

If you have been assessed and qualify for support, you have a number of options:

Choosing support from your Local Authority

This option means that your Local Authority will organise and manage your care. To ensure your needs are met, a Local Authority will either have in house teams, or may work with a local and trusted independent care provider like Ashford Community Care.

Choosing to employ your own carer

This gives you control over the care and support you receive as well as choosing the individual who will deliver that care, often referred to as personal assistants.

If you're considering this option, it is important to bear in mind that by employing a personal assistant you become the employer and, as an employer you need to:

  • be responsible for deducting income tax;
  • ensure that your pay rates meet statutory minimum wage regulations;
  • consider the legal requirements, such as rest breaks, working hours, holidays, and sick pay;
  • have Employer’s and Public Liability Insurance;
  • be confident that they have the experience, training and qualifications to do the job you need them to do.

You may decide to hire a self-employed personal assistant. If this is the case, you would need to ensure that they have taken responsibility for the above.

The provision of care by a personal assistant is not governed by your regulatory body, who regulate and monitor standards of care provided, so you may wish to take security measures by checking the background of the individual you are employing. If you choose to employ your own carer, Ashford Community Care can provide support during your carer’s holiday or other circumstances where care cannot be delivered.

Choosing an independent home care provider

An independent provider, such as Ashford Community Care, will work with individuals to create a personal support plan, based on specific needs and choices, lifestyle, and cultural background, matching them with the appropriately qualified staff.

This option comes with the assurance that those supporting you have received training and hold qualifications to carry out their roles effectively and safely. Home care teams within a private care provider will also get regular monitoring, training and support.

Choosing Ashford Community Care and how we can help

Our Community Support Workers are compassionate, qualified and experienced in delivering the high quality care and personalised support you need.

We help with many things, including:

  • Support around the home;  housework, mail and bills, laundry, ironing, meal preparation, shopping
  • Companionship; spending time with you, helping with social activities and hobbies
  • Help following a stay in hospital
  • Support for long term health conditions such as dementia
  • Carer's respite care – giving your regular carer a well-deserved break

Contact Ashford Community Care for more information

If you would like to have an initial chat about how we can help you manage and use your Direct Payments, please get in touch with us today.