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Support to help you plan and manage your own care

We want to help you and your family remain independent in the homes you love.

We work with people who receive social care and/or health funding to meet their care needs.

As part of our service, we provide personalised support to help you plan and manage your own care. From managing money to recruiting an assistant, you can trust us to make a positive difference.

Our skilled advisors empower you to take control, giving you all the options available to you and coming up with solutions to suit your exact needs.

Our support can help you to:

  • Manage the money you receive for care and support
  • Plan your own care
  • Recruit, employ and pay a personal care assistant
  • Choose a care agency
  • Buy assistive technology
  • Keep up to date with the latest advice and guidance

Two of the main areas we help with are direct payments and personal health budgets. These are payments made by your local authority or the NHS to help you manage your own care – instead of it being delivered by health or social care services.

Direct payments can be used to meet your personal care needs as well as help you with practical household tasks, social activities and attending appointments. How you spend your direct payment should reflect what has been agreed in your social care assessment and support plan.

Personal health budget funding can be used to meet your personal health care needs. It is based on a personalised care and support plan agreed between you and the local clinical commissioning group or NHS team.

How can I get a Direct Payment?

You will need to have an assessment from your local authority. This is usually undertaken by a social worker. If the assessment shows you are eligible for support, the social worker who carries out your assessment will ask you if you would like a direct payment. If you already receive care and/or support provided via your local authority and would like to consider a direct payment instead, you should speak to a social worker.

Do I have to pay for Direct Payments?

There is no charge for choosing direct payments. You may, however, have a financial assessment to determine whether you need to pay a contribution to your care package. This is part of the government’s Fairer Charging policy. Your social worker will inform you whether this applies to you

What can Direct Payments be used for?

Money paid as a direct payment for your care and support should be used to meet your assessed need and outcomes. This can include:

  • Employing a person to support you to live independently. This person is commonly known as a personal care assistant.
  • Choosing a care agency with the right skills, flexibility and experience to support you
  • Accessing community activities
  • Buying assistive technology

How can I get a Personal Health Budget?

Currently, only adults who are eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care funding and children in receipt of continuing care have a legal right to access personal health budgets. If someone is interested in a personal health budget for themselves or someone they care for, they should talk to their local NHS team or health professional who helps them most often with their care – this might be a care manager or a doctor

Do I have to pay for Personal Health Budgets?

There is no charge for having a personal health budget. If you combine it with social care funding, you may have a contribution to pay. Your social care will be able to advise you further.

What can Personal Health Budgets be used for?

A personal health budget can potentially be spent on a broader range of care and support than would routinely be commissioned by the NHS, if it is agreed as being appropriate to meet someone’s identified needs. This could include funding for a personal assistant to help with personal care at home, and equipment such as a wheelchair.

Everyone who has a personal health budget should be supported by a suitable professional to think through how they would like to use their budget in order to meet their health and wellbeing needs. It is the responsibility of local NHS teams to advise people or refer someone to a relevant local organisation who can offer the necessary support. This is often described as brokerage – and we can help.

To find out more, email, call us on 0330 123 2815 or fill in the form at the bottom of this page.

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Living Independently

Support and direct payments to live independently

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We support 10,000 people each year to remain independent in their own homes

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