Shropshire Choices - flexible direct payments

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Project description

The council are committed to supporting creative and more flexible ways of using a direct payment to keep people occupied, engaged and supported during lockdown restrictions.

What was your response to Covid-19?

To ensure direct payment recipients could use their direct payment flexibly and creatively during the pandemic.

What was different about this approach?

Discussions between adult social care staff and direct payment recipients continue but have included alternative ways for people to stay occupied and engaged during lockdown restrictions.

Several creative solutions to achieve individual outcomes have been agreed - with direct payments enabling people to manage their responses to social distancing measures.

Some examples include:

  1. Use of talking tiles – One family member has purchased talking tiles, with plenty of recording time to record poems and instructions for her mother who has anxiety and memory issues. This is helpful since they cannot see each other in person. The recorded voice of a loved one that can be easily operated with a single press and has effectively reduced high levels of anxiety.
  2. Use of online resources – Online ‘arty party sessions’ have  given a couple of individuals the opportunity to have social contact with a group they would usually see in person, but still be able to try new arts and crafts at home. An online subscription to interactive exercise classes is enabling a carer to safely start Pilates at home to improve their back strength.
  3. Purchasing of equipment – Tablet/iPads have been purchased to make it easier for individuals to stay connected with others and make use of the wide range of online activities and apps available.
  4. For several people who are used to energetic days full of activity, some solutions to helping stay active and calm at home have been the purchase of trampolines; spin bikes; swing balls sets. 

What is the impact and benefit for people?

One young man used his direct payment to purchase an indoor bike, rather than paying for his gym membership. The Shropshire team have been told this is working really well, he enjoys using it, he is keeping fit (although exhausted after 5 mins) and since motivating him to go to the gym before the lockdown was getting difficult it has actually resulted in better outcomes for him. He is now determined to improve his time each day on the bike and is setting himself goals.