Deciding to receive a personal budget through a direct payment can be a life-changing moment. ecdp can help you understand just what this decision could mean for you and how it can give you the freedom of choice you’ve always wanted.
essential advice and guidance if you are thinking about direct payments
However, receiving a direct payment also carried some important responsibilities and we can help you make sure you know exactly what commitments you are taking on. Our extensive knowledge of personal budgets and our in-depth understanding of employment and payroll consideration make us uniquely able to support you as you take this big step.
What are direct payments?
Direct payments are available to anyone who is eligible for a social care or carers service, as an alternative to home care provided by the council. The purpose of direct payments is to enable a person to purchase their own care (often by employing their own Personal Assistants), or by purchasing equipment, offering more choice and control over what assistance they receive and when.
As a User-Led Organisation, ecdp brings the support it offers to life, providing a powerful insight into the daily lives of disabled people. All our advisors have direct experience of living with disability, or caring for those who do, so they are able to offer help assess the realistic implications of choosing to receive a direct payment.
The pros and cons of personal budgets
At first sight, deciding to receive a direct payment can look like a daunting choice. However, with the help of our connects service, we can help you break down the change into a series of smaller, more manageable steps. Whether you are worried about finding suitable carers, or about how to ensure you meet all your obligations as an employer, the connects team has the answers.
We’ll help you think through the change and help to identify how you can use a personal budget to make changes to your quality of life. And we won’t pull the wool over your eyes. If we see any particular challenges that you might face, we’ll address these head on and help you find a solution.
A track record of success
ecdp has a track record of success in delivering information, advice and guidance (IAG) services.
In Thurrock connects provides support and information to disabled people, family members, social workers and their colleagues. The connects service works in conjunction our payroll services which can provide vital support for people who use direct payments, but for whatever reason feel they need extra assistance. This support can be provided in areas such as payroll and invoice payments, making the direct payment process stress free.
In Cambridgeshire, ecdp was a key provider of direct payment support to people considering direct payments in the county. We undertook the screening of all requests for a direct payment. Clients were then contacted by an Independent Living Advisor (ILA) to discuss their support requirements and a home visit arranged. In addition, ecdp provided support and information to family members, social workers and their colleagues.
In Essex, ecdp has also provided a telephone service offering advice and guidance to disabled people considering using direct payments instead of services provided through social care contracts. The service has always been provided by people who themselves use direct payments, and those who used it found it to be valuable. Some 89% of all people who used this service took a direct payment, compared to the national average of 13%.
What you get
The connects service is a specialised advice and guidance service that can help you make the decision about whether a direct payment is the right solution for you. The connects team are all experienced advisors, each with lived experience of disability or supporting those in receive of social care. As well as a sympathetic ear, you’ll get real life, practical advice that can help to dispel the understandable anxiety that many people feel when they start to consider changing to a direct payment.
Making direct payments work
Our connects service, working in conjunction with our payroll services, will provide you not only with the advice and guidance that you need, but also with a highly tailored service designed to make direct payments easy to adopt and manage.
The connects team will ensure that have all the information you need at the outset and you know that you are supported by an experienced and understanding team. With this solid foundation, receiving a direct payment can quickly become a realistic and practical choice.
Our CEO, Mike Adams, was recently interviewed by BBC Essex to discuss the challenges and initiatives to support disabled people to get into, and stay in, work.
ecdp CEO Mike Adams recently (Thursday 11 April 2013) took part in the national launch event for Healthwatch - the new consumer champion for health and social care.
Essex County Council has published the final 3-year longitudinal study evaluating the impact and effectiveness of Personal Budgets in Essex.