DPs are a method of receiving your personal budget, as funds paid directly to you, to allow you to organise and pay for your own eligible social needs. More information regarding personal budgets can be found following the link Personal Budgets.
In Hillingdon we currently administer a direct payment via a prepaid card, which is just like a debit card from your bank. You can use it to pay for services that meet your needs and outcomes, as agreed in your support plan.
Please note that our preferred option is to administer Direct Payments via a prepaid card, however other options can be explored on a case by case basis.
Anyone who is eligible for funding from the council to meet their care and support needs can have a direct payment. You can choose to have any or your entire personal budget as a direct payment. This means you can take a sum of money with which to arrange your own support, rather than Adult Services doing it on your behalf.
All new direct payments service users, nominees, or third parties who manage the service user’s direct payments on their behalf, will receive their payments via the prepaid card.
Service users who are eligible for Continuing Care Funding can also choose to receive their personal health budget via a direct payment.
Your social worker and support planner will, during the assessment and support planning process, explain all that is involved in managing your personal budget. They will explain the support available to you so an informed decision can be made to determine whether you, as the service user will manage the direct payment, or if someone known to you i.e., a family member or close friend would take the responsibility and be the ‘nominated person’ to manage it on your behalf.
If you need someone to act on your behalf to manage your payments for you and your social worker will determine whether they are suitable. If you are unable to manage a direct payment but would still benefit from having one, you may be eligible for a 'managed account'. This is where a 3rd party manages your direct payment on your behalf. The council has a list of Approved Providers who offer different types of managed accounts, depending on your needs. For more information please see the further information section below.
A personal budget, paid via a direct payment, puts you in control of the type of care you need based around what matters to you and what works for you. This gives you the chance to have more choice and control over how the support you need is provided to you.
A personal budget, paid via a direct payment, gives you flexibility in how your care needs are met. For example, you may want to employ a personal assistant or a support worker to help you remain in your own home or you may want someone to help you attend adult education classes, or leisure activities to help you develop your skills and interests.
If you are purchasing care direct from an agency, make sure you tell them you have a direct payment as they may be able to offer reduced rates.
With a prepaid card:
Your agreed support plan outlines how your support needs will be met and your agreed outcomes achieved. As part of this, your support plan includes a calculation of the amount required for your support needs and shows how you will spend this to help meet your support needs and to achieve the outcomes you want. If it has been agreed that you need support to manage your DP from one of our 'Approved Providers', this will also be detailed in your support plan, including details of the provider or providers you have chosen, how much support you need and the amount we will pay you to purchase this support. If you access support from one of the Approved Providers, it is your responsibility to pay the invoices for this support, directly to the provider using your prepaid card. You should not request or pay for support services, unless it has been agreed by the council in your support plan.
You, your nominated agent and any suitable person must meet set responsibilities, which will be explained to you during the assessment and support planning process.
You must retain any receipts and invoices relating to your support which has been paid for using your DP money for six years. You must provide the Council, upon request, with documentary evidence of the proper use of the money paid to you. With the prepaid card service that we now have, there is the facility for service users to submit evidence on their own prepaid card portal.
You may only use your DP money in a way that clearly helps you, the service user, to achieve your outcomes set out in your support plan. If you are unclear about what expenditure is allowable then please contact: Hillingdon Social Care Direct
The council will regularly monitor how you are spending the money paid to you from the information available from the prepaid debit card provider, including whether you are paying your assessed contribution on to your prepaid card, if you have one. In certain circumstances the council will contact you to discuss your expenditure and may require you to submit further information relating to the payments you have made.
If the council considers that the use of the money paid to you represents an inappropriate use of public funds, or causes disrepute to the council, the council may determine that you are ineligible to receive further such payments and other methods of meeting your support needs will be arranged.
If you are not satisfied with the level of service or the costs of the provider you pay then you must first discuss this with the provider concerned. You are legally responsible for the services you purchase with the monies you receive from social services. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the service provider then you should contact Hillingdon Social Care Direct to discuss further options.
If you decide to end your agreement, you need to ensure you give the appropriate notice and give yourself enough time to set up a new agreement with the replacement person or agency, so that you are not left without the care and support you need. If there is going to be a gap between the old agreement ending and the new agreement starting, you can contact the council to see if they can make alternative arrangements for your support needs to be met.
If you employ a personal assistant, you will need to give them the appropriate notice as per the terms of their contract.
If you decide to completely end your direct payment agreement with the council, we will determine if any money is owed to you or from you and will pay you this amount or invoice you accordingly.
For an easy read guide to direct payments, click here.
For more information or advise you can contact the Direct Payments Team at Hillingdon on 01895 556694 or by email at DirectPaymentsTeam@Hillingdon.gov.uk
Personal Budget Support Service
For residents who need support to manage their direct payment, we offer an 'Approved Provider' list of suppliers so people can choose what support they need and who they want this support from.
All approved providers on this list have been checked by the council and the Clinical Commissioning Group to give you reassurance when purchasing services. The list will be reviewed regularly to ensure that all providers are delivering high quality care and their services and prices are up to date.
We recommend that you choose a provider from this list, although you may choose to use someone else or not have support at all. The providers on the list have been approved for one or more of the following services:
Employ a named personal assistant
A service to assist in the necessary arrangements to formally set up a PA up to and including the completion of a probationary period. Normally for situations where the individual has found their own PA.
Advertise and recruit a personal assistant
A service to assist in finding/matching PA and individual this would include DBS checks etc and setting up all employment requirements.
Ongoing support to employ a personal assistant - e.g. information and advice on employment matters
To assist with the day to day circumstances of employment from appraisal to performance concerns, annual leave, terms and conditions queries.
Provision of a full payroll service for an individual directly employing a PA to include all PAYE, P60, IR submissions etc.
Managed Account (using LBH pre paid card)
Where an individual wants the flexibility of a Direct Payment and does not wish to use council or CCG commissioned services but does not wish to manage the account and liaise with providers themselves, under the direction of the individual this service will organise and arrange all of their care and ensure the record keeping meeting the local authorities requirements.
The council will ensure that anyone with a direct payment who requires support to manage their direct payment is allocated the necessary funds on their prepaid card, to pay for the support services they require. This support will need to be discussed and agreed with the relevant social work team and added to your support plan. Services should not be requested or paid for until they have been agreed by the council and added to your support plan.
The Approved Provider list gives full details of each provider, their contact details, the services they provide and the costs and can be found here.
If you would like a paper or email copy of the list, please contact the Direct Payments team on 01895 277680 or 01895 250296 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will hold regular engagement events for service users and their families to meet the providers on the approved list and discuss the services they offer.
We will announce further events as they are arranged, however service users are free to contact the approved providers themselves, to find out more about them.
Colin is a young gentleman who has a moderate learning disability as well as a physical disability. He lives with his parents.
Colin has attended day services Monday - Friday for many years. He is able to participate in various activities with support and is wheelchair dependent and he requires assistance to access the community in his wheelchair. Colin's personal care needs are met by his family.
Colin has chosen to have a direct payment so that he can employ a personal assistant of his own choice to help him get out and about and access community based activities once a week. He now only attends day services four days a week.
Colin has enjoyed having greater choice and control over who he employs and what community activities he attends. Having a PA has meant he can access a wider range of activities and focus on the things he personally enjoys. Now Colin's confidence has increased as a result of getting involved in different things he is hoping to stop attending formal day services altogether and use his personal budget for additional outreach support.
Sharon is in her early 30's and has a physical disability. She lives with her parents who support her with her personal care and activities of daily living. Sharon is wheelchair dependent when outside of the home and requires support to help her access the community, her parents are unable to provide this support due to their own health issues.
Sharon had a package of care of outreach twice a week provided as a directly commissioned package arranged by social services. This package was not working well for several reasons. None of the carers drove or those who did could not take Sharon in their car so she was reliant on public transport. This was a big issue as Sharon lived on a busy bus route and although it is a frequent service accessing the bus with a wheelchair was not always an option due to amount of people with pushchairs on the bus. Also what added to the problem was that carer's weren't always able to support Sharon at the exact times she needed to join in local activities.
Sharon decided to have direct payments so that she could choose an agency that was able to provide consistency of carers at an appointed time.
With help from a support planner an agency was sourced local to where Sharon lived. All the carers drove and were able to take her out in their car. A plan was devised where the amount of her support hours would alternate every other.
By using her budget flexibility and adjusting the support on alternate weeks Sharon was able to travel further afield to explore new places of interest or to be able to watch a complete film at the cinema without having to leave before the end. Overall Sharon was much happier by being able to access the activities she really wanted to and the additional flexibility provided by the carers being able to take her out in the car opened up a lot of new opportunities to her.
Tommy is a young gentleman known to the Mental Health Team due to severe enduring mental health issues. He currently resides in a 24 hour supported living unit.
Tommy has worked in the past but not been able to sustain long term employment. He has a passion for music and would like to work in a music related profession.
With help of his care co ordinator he identified a 10 week music course for people with Mental Health needs. This was a London based company that was not commissioned by Social services.
It was approved that the course would be therapeutic for Tommy an it offered creative and vocational opportunities in music.
By choosing direct payments he was able to use his personal budget to fund the 10 week course.
Tommy completed the 10 week music course. It increased his confidence and improved his lyrics writing skills which has given him the encouragement to take a further advanced music course.
Sophie is known the community mental health team and suffers with Agoraphobic tendencies, paranoia and has episodes of very low moods swings. She lives with her daughter who works full time but can also be on call for her work for emergencies.
Sophie manages her personal care independently but when in very low mood will not dress or come out of her bedroom. When her mood is stable she is able to go to the local shops which are a 5 minute walk but often turns home before reaching the shops if spoken to by a passerby.
Sophie previously had weekly visits by a support worker from the mental health service but these visits were reduced to a weekly telephone call. The only input from social services would be intermittent support package when the daughter would be away from home for work events. This was arranged as a directly commissioned care package to oversee medication administration which is usually carried out by Sophie's daughter. However Sophie's daughter was not confident with this arrangement as the support package was sometimes required at short notice and was out of her control.
Following an assessment it was identified that Sophie would benefit from weekly outreach support to help her access the community and build up confidence to go out of the house alone.
A direct payment was chosen as it would allow flexibility and choice over who provided the support. A support plan was devised so that an agency of their choice would provide 5 hours outreach support each week which could be used flexibly. Also built into the plan was the regular cost for four weeks a year for when Sophie's daughter was away with work; this gave peace of mind to the daughter knowing that she could arrange support directly at short notice without have to await approval for budget.
When reviewed Sophie's daughter advised the plan was working very well. The chosen agency was providing two regular support workers who were able to develop a relationship and engage with Sophie which in turn was helping to build up her confidence. Sophie's now looks forward to her support visits and appears to have fewer episodes of low mood.
Sophie's daughter was also able to manage her work/life balance more effectively with the ability to cover her work commitments more flexibly and with Sophie experiencing fewer episodes of low mood her daughter had greater peace of mind about her mothers ability to cope positively on a day to day basis.
Jack and Tom are twins, aged 22, who have a learning disability / complex needs and are high on the autistic spectrum. They have lived in supported living accommodation for over three years and were previously being cared for by an organisation that was commissioned by the local authority. During this time the care provider changed and the turnover of support workers meant that there was a lack of continuity of staff.
The twins were often stuck indoors and unable to access the community. This in turn led to them exhibiting challenging behaviour, some of which had a very detrimental effect on their physical and emotional well-being.
Jack and Tom's parents wished to explore the option of direct payments, as this had worked effectively in the past when the twins were children. They understood that this would be a more substantial venture but wanted to have more choice and control over the care that was being provided to their sons.
Their parents worked alongside their social worker and direct payments support planner, in order to get all the information they needed to make the decision to move to direct payments. All involved felt this would be the best option and embarked upon something that had not been trialled in Hillingdon before.
Initially their parents had difficulty recruiting enough staff to fill all the posts required to provide support to the twins. Other challenges included the loss of the member of staff who was originally identified to be the team leader and could provide training to the future staff team. They were able to recruit another team leader and with some advice and a lot of research, have made use of free online training and support from organisations like Skills for Care, in order to fully train the staff team.
Despite some initial difficulties with their payroll company around the payment of wages to staff working variable shifts, Jack and Tom's parents are happy with the decision to switch to direct payments.
They have just had a week away and despite the weather, they reported that they had a very relaxing time. The main reason for this was their confidence that the team of staff they have employed via direct payments were looking after the twins very well.
In their own words "The quality of care is going from strength to strength and we are now fully staffed with keen and honest people".
They also report that Jack and Tom are becoming more relaxed and displaying very little challenging behaviour.
While every care has been taken in the compilation of the information on this website, neither Hillingdon Council or PCG Care Solutions will be held responsible for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of using the site and any inaccuracies/errors within these pages.
If you choose to purchase services via the Marketplace, you are advised to refer to the Buyers Guide prior to making a purchase, as well as making your own enquiries and seeking independent advice. This is applicable to Adult services only, as there is no Marketplace for Children's services.