Direct Payments Review
Decision Maker: Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
It is a statutory duty as defined by the Care Act 2014 to offer a person a Direct Payment as a cash alternative to a directly commissioned care and support service where a person has been assessed as having eligible needs.
This applies both to carers and people in need of care and support. The regulations of the Children’s Act also place a duty on Local Authorities to offer a Direct Payment to disabled children.
A report was presented to Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee on the 3rd of March 2022 where it was noted the number of people and carers in receipt of a Direct Payment was relatively low. A recommendation to review and improve this position was approved, this report contains a summary of the review and describes to members the work underway to unpick the barriers it identified and to set out what we need to change.
This review has been a collaborative exercise and included, as equal partners, officers of the Council, people with lived experience, voluntary sector providers and representatives from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and the Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (WCHCFT).
Resolved – that,
1. Direct Payment hourly rates for Personal Assistants for adults be aligned to that of a Domiciliary Care Worker from April 2023 be approved.
2. Work commences towards reconciling the Direct Payment hourly rates for adults and children.
3. A future report be brought to this committee exploring the options of either providing,
(a) Council Coordinated Personal Assistant register
(b) Tender for a full Direct Payment Service to include a Personal Assistant Register, Payroll, a Managed Accounts Service and Information and Advice
Reasons for the decision:
Aligning the hourly rate for PAs and Domiciliary Care staff is recommended to incentivise the role of PA as a career of choice. It will provide parity of pay with the Domiciliary Care Sector and retain PAs already employed. Additional PAs will enable more people to exercise control over their care and support arrangements and better enable the Council to meet the statutory duty to offer people and carers eligible for support of a Direct Payment. It is anticipated this will also reduce reliance on commissioned care and will contribute to achieving efficiencies.
Reconciling the Direct Payment hourly rates for adults and children will provide consistency.
Further work is needed to determine whether the most effective delivery model would be to include the development of a PA register as part of the Council’s direct delivery arm, or to tender separately for a full Direct Payments service including the development of a PA register and other functions associated with Direct Payments.
Alternative options considered:
No change to the current provision.
Report author: Claire Molyneux
Publication date: 29/11/2022
Date of decision: 29/11/2022
Decided at meeting: 29/11/2022 - Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee
Effective from: 06/12/2022