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Using direct payments to pay for domiciliary care

Information for people who use, or are thinking about using, a direct payment to pay for domiciliary care services.

If you have been assessed by Social Services as requiring care and support but you are not using a direct payment, this information will not apply to you.

 

What is a domiciliary care agency?

Domiciliary care agencies are businesses that train and employ staff to provide care and support to people living in their own homes. They have a duty to ensure that the staff they provide to meet your needs have the necessary employment checks, are appropriately trained to meet your needs and they will monitor this regularly.

The agency will discuss with you, your family or carer, how best they can meet your needs and write this into a support plan.

Domiciliary care agencies are registered and regulated by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Not all agencies are the same however, so you need to identify one that could satisfy your needs. For example, some only offer support for particular types of need, types of clients or only in certain areas of Swansea. There are also domiciliary care agencies registered outside Swansea that provide services to Swansea residents.

Why might I choose to use a domiciliary care agency?

Purchasing services from a domiciliary care agency means that you do not employ directly the people who provide your care, and you do not have the responsibilities of an employer (this would be the case if you employed your own personal assistant). Instead, you have a contract with the agency.

There are many agencies which provide care services. Using a direct payment, you are not limited to a small number of domiciliary care agencies selected by us and you can purchase care from any registered domiciliary care agency that will work in your area.

Why might I want to use a direct payment?

Direct payments give you more flexibility, choice and control about who provides your care and when you receive it.

Some people may already have been buying care privately from a care agency before being assessed as eligible for support by Social Services. If you wish to continue with the same agency, and keep the care staff you already know, a direct payment can be given to you as a contribution to your costs. Continuity of care may be especially beneficial to people living with dementia or other conditions that cause memory loss.

Be aware that the direct payment may not cover the full cost of care from the agency you choose and you may have to pay a top-up yourself. If you are claiming Attendance Allowance the top-up could appropriately be met from that payment. There is more information about Attendance Allowance on the Gov.uk website: gov.uk/attendance-allowance