Guidance for individuals receiving care and support through direct payments
We know that many direct payment holders and their families are fearful and uncertain and have felt marginalised, or worse still, largely invisible as the response to the pandemic has mobilised. TLAP therefore welcomes the publication by the government of national guidance for people receiving direct payments.
The guidance sets out clear expectations and requirements on how local authorities (LAs) and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should fulfil their responsibilities to direct payment holders and what people can do to keep themselves and their personal assistants safe and well.
It clearly states that LAs and CCGs can help direct payment holders get personal protective equipment (PPE) where the fund is not already set up to pay for this, and for people or their families who have COVID-19 their PA is eligible to receive PPE.
It is vital that these points are followed at this critical time along with the guidance to use a flexible and person-centred approach. The accompanying Q&A provides practical advice for direct payment holders, concentrating on the issues that they have raised as well as those of organisations working in this area, which includes TLAP and the National Co-Production Advisory Group. Whilst it doesn’t cover every circumstance or eventuality, the aim is that it will be a live working document that responds to new developments and concerns as they arise.
At this difficult time, now more than ever, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups must trust people as experts in their own care and provide them with the back up to make sure they can exercise choice and control to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the people that support them.
Isaac Samuels, deputy chair of the National Co-production Advisory Group says:
“As a direct payment recipient I can say first-hand the difference it has made to me to have a personal assistant who can be flexible and adapt to my needs during this critical time. If councils can support people with timely, accessible information about their entitlements the more I believe it will help ease pressures and protect lives."