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Examples of Direct Payments in Use

Direct Payments can be used in several different ways.

With a Direct Payment you could:

employ someone directly to help with your care (a Personal Assistant)

  • As the result of a car accident, Lisa is partially sighted and uses a wheelchair.  She needs support with some of her care needs, and to get out and about.  Her husband Steve did his best to support her but this put a real strain on their relationship.  Employing Ann as a Personal Assistant means Lisa gets support at times that suit her best. Lisa always took a lot of pride in her appearance and started to become depressed when this wasn't something she could manage on her own.  However Ann enjoys clothes shopping and trying out new makeup ideas too, so with her help Lisa feels she's keeping up with fashion and style again and her self-confidence has improved.  And because Steve is now less involved in her care needs, their relationship is more like it was before her accident.
  • Kelly has three children.  Her son Jack has a severe learning disability and other health problems so needs constant care.  Her Direct Payment enables her to employ someone she knows as a Personal Assistant to look after Jack twice a week so she can spend quality time with her daughters.

buy care from a private registered care agency

  • After Derek had a hip replacement he paid for a private care agency to give him some help at home.  A year later he had a stroke and the amount of personal care he then needed meant he was eligible for domiciliary care through Social Services.  Derek chose to have a Direct Payment and paid the agency he'd used before to continue providing his care using care staff he already knew.

make your own arrangements instead of using Social Services day care or respite care

  • Jean has dementia and is cared for by her husband Bob.  She used to spend two weeks a year in a care home so that Bob could have a break from caring.  Bob goes on a golfing trip with his son, but used to feel guilty that he was having more fun than Jean.  He found out that if Jean had a Direct Payment she could spend these weeks at her sister's house with paid carers coming in to see to her personal care needs.   Now they both enjoy the time apart.
  • Mair and Heulwen are Welsh speakers, and neither of them enjoyed going to a day centre where English was the language used.  Their social worker suggested they could have a Direct Payment instead and put them in touch with each other as their needs were similar.  By putting their payments together they could afford to employ a Welsh-speaking Personal Assistant who takes them once a week to a ladies' social group where Welsh is used and to a community choir, as they both enjoy singing.
  • Norman is 90 and very unsteady on his feet.  When he falls, he often cannot get up again.  His wife, who is his carer, worries about him staying in alone in their flat when she attends weekly hospital appointments. A sitting service was offered, but Norman was unhappy having a stranger in the house.  However a Direct Payment enables Norman's friend Alf, who he seldom sees now as Alf lives several miles away, to take a taxi to Norman's flat and stay with him for the morning. They spend the time happily chatting and at lunchtime Alf gets them a meal from the local chippie, meaning that Norman's wife can have a light lunch in the hospital café after her treatment and not rush back.  

buy equipment that will help you meet your identified outcomes

  • After some years, Gary was making good progress in overcoming long-standing mental health problems, and his care manager helped him to find a voluntary role that would help his employment prospects.  However his OCD made it very difficult for him to use public transport to get there.  A one-off direct payment enabled Gary to buy a second-hand bicycle which not only ensured he could get to his voluntary placement on time, but increased his self-confidence as he became more mobile.



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