Consultation: Proposed Changes to Direct Payments Policy

7 July 2021
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Direct Payments offer people the opportunity to receive money to buy the social care they need to achieve the outcomes in their Support Plan. They give people increased autonomy, inclusion, choice and flexibility to help them live in their own homes, be fully involved in family and community life, and take part in work, education and leisure.

The purpose of this review is to clearly set out the Council’s approach to direct payments, including the responsibilities of the Council and the direct payment recipient.

We are writing to seek your views on the proposed revisions to the policy that have been developed following the review. The primary revisions that are proposed for inclusion in the policy are:

  • Service users receiving Direct Payments will have at least an annual review which will look at how Direct Payments are working for them, the quality of the service they are getting, and will discuss if they are achieving the outcomes they wanted.
  • If the service user uses direct payments to employ staff, they will have responsibilities as an employer. The law requires that employers have compulsory Employers’ Liability insurance. The service user or authorised person is responsible for taking out the insurance and for ensuring that premiums are paid when due. This is now clearly set out in the revised policy.
  • The service user must receive regular statements or be able to provide online statements to show how the payments have been managed. The Policy clarifies the information required e.g. the Council will expect to see account statements as part of the monitoring process.
  • The proposed policy clarifies that where service users are using a Prepaid Card, in most cases they will not need to submit any paperwork because monitoring will be carried out by the Council via the Internet. However, all transactions must take place using the card and the funds must not be transferred to an alternative account.  Where service users withdraw cash on the prepaid card, they will be required to account for it.
  • Service users can ask to end the Direct Payments arrangement and have services provided by the Council at any time. As part of the Direct Payments Agreement, service users agree to give four weeks’ notice when they wish to end the Direct Payments arrangement, however we do accept that it is sometimes not possible to do this. When a quicker solution is required, we will make other arrangements to meet their needs.

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Please read the following documents and take part in the survey 

Share your views online

Please complete the online questionnaire by Friday 6 August 2021

If you have any feedback you wish to provide by email, please email erkan.ozer@walthamforest.gov.uk before the end of the consultation.

After the consultation, the consultation responses will be collated and presented in a report that will be presented by the Portfolio Lead Member for Adult Services to Cabinet who will make a decision on the Policy at their meeting in September 2021.