Medway Council’s in-house Direct Payment Support Service have been proactively ensuring that the people they serve are as safe as possible from the outset of the Coronavirus outbreak.
What was your response to Covid-19?
Medway believe that being an in-house team has been an advantage in the current circumstances, since direct payment recipients have a more direct route to raise issues and get them resolved by the council and its partners.
- RAG rated each individual direct payment recipient from a safety point of view. People who were rated red were very likely to have limited circles of support.
- Quickly contacted all Direct Payments recipients to get a picture of situation with PPE supplies and their needs. For those who only had seven to 14 days stock, the team personally delivered top up supplies.
- Through a pooled budget held by a third-party the council made sure that Direct Payment recipients had immediate access to PPE, which was secured at reasonable cost
- Offered financial support to a bank of self-employed PAs. Offer conditional to being available to being deployed as necessary, primarily where a direct-payment recipient’s contingency arrangements fail.
Developing an individually employed and a self-employed PA workforce was a response to feedback from Direct Payment recipients who asked for less of an administrative burden and did not want to become an employer.
What is the impact and benefit for people?
Feedback received, during the Covid-19 lockdown
“I have felt fully supported by the Medway SDS team. After an initial phone call, I was Red Flagged as someone who could need additional support. As yet I have coped using respite hours to provide extra care but feel confident if I do require additional help it will be provided. Follow up calls were made to check on PPE and deliveries were made direct to my door. A key worker letter was supplied to our Personal Assistant to give ease of access to and from our home and whilst shopping. During such a stressful time it has been reassuring to know that we have the full support of the SDS team”.