If a member of your family needs support to live independently, this information tells you about direct payments, a way of having more choice and control over the help you need. Direct payments are payments given to individuals by Social Services departments to enable them to buy services they have been assessed as needing.
The aim of a direct payment is to give more flexibility in how services are provided to people who are assessed as eligible for social services support. Providing money in lieu of social care services gives people greater choice and control over their lives, and enables them to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered.
Most people who have been assessed as needing a social care service can get direct payments. This includes people with:
• physical or sensory impairment
• learning disabilities
• mental health problems
• a long-term illness or who need help because of the effects of growing older.
You can also receive direct payments if you are a:
• carer who has been assessed as needing support in your own right
• parent of a disabled child – for services that support you in bringing up your child
You can ask for direct payments if you wish to be in control of the services you need, and you are able to arrange and manage those services, either by yourself or with help. You do not have to be able to do everything yourself. As long as you stay in charge of what happens you can have as much help as you need to manage direct payments.
Personalised care planning aims to put people on an equal footing with health and social care professionals, moving away from doing to, to doing with. A care planning consultation should feel like the â meeting of two experts- the patient/client and their clinical carer.
It focuses on a discussion with individual patients about goals to support their health and wellbeing, such as returning to work, stopping smoking, improving diet or living independently. The discussion should also focus on supporting them to self care, and finding out what impacts on their health and wellbeing, such as poor housing and emotional and psychological needs.
Choice should be stimulated through personalised care planning, which embraces three key components. These are people having:
• Power to shape their pathway through services and keep control over their lives;
• Preferences to choose how, when and what treatments or other services they receive;
• Personalised services organised around their lifestyles.
Care planning should be proportionate to need. For example, for those with a range of complex needs, it is led and coordinated by one professional, such as a community matron or specialist nurse. It follows a health and social care assessment of need and takes more time and is more detailed. There is a strong emphasis on coordinating services and contingency planning.
For those with less complex needs, the planning process must include information about how their condition impacts on their life and support for self care so that each patient can make the best decisions and decide how best to manage their condition.
Providing service users with information such as test results or prompting them to think about questions to ask before the care planning consultation also helps them to reflect and prepare to get the most out of the discussion. It also establishes an equal relationship with their healthcare professional.