Personal Health Budgets and Direct Payments
To receive care funded by the NHS or local authority you must first have an assessment to understand what care and support you need. That assessment should translate into an ‘indicative budget’ which is a lump sum of money which is expected to pay for care and support to meet the needs you have been assessed as needing.
You should be offered that budget as a Personal Health Budget (PHB) if you have health related needs, or a Direct Payment (DP) if funded by the local authority. This is where you are given the option of taking your indicative budget and buying your own care and support. It’s not as scary as it sounds!! It makes you the customer, and enables you to buy the services which suit you best. And there is a lot of support available to enable you to do this safely and effectively, including:
- Managed accounts
- Payroll and Support (when employing your own staff)
- Information and Advice
- Support Planning
Your Life Your Way was created to support people to access Direct Payments, understanding that not everyone wanted, or was in a position to take on the responsibility or administration. We have supported over 500 people to access direct payments, and now support 20 individuals who are accessing a Personal Health Budget. For more information and advice, or to see what services we could provide to support you, contact us or telephone on 0845 387 1107.
Here is what the process into care delivery should look like:
Assessment and Budget Allocation
This process usually takes place with either your local authority or NHS trust. Your assessor will take into consideration what areas of your life you require support with, and allocate a budget to deliver services which meet those needs. You will then be offered that budget as a Direct Payment or Personal Health Budget, or to have your services commissioned by the funding body.
Support Planning is deciding what you would like to achieve with your allocated budget and finding ways to achieve those goals and meet your needs. There are three main ways to have care services delivered which you will consider at this stage:
- You can employ staff directly, accessing one of a variety of advice and support services to support you to employ staff and manage the administration and responsibility which comes with that.
- You can access an organisation who will take on all of the administration and responsibility for you, but you work with them to recruit the right staff for you and design your bespoke care plan.
- You can purchase your care services from a care agency who will have staff in place who will work with you on a rota.
- At Your Life Your Way we ensure you get the most out of your care budget by first identifying any creative ways to meet your needs via friends, families, community involvement. Setting goals, things which you are working towards, they can be as small as learning to make a cup of tea independently, or as big as move into your own home.
Finding the services to deliver your support plan, and negotiating a contract with those providers. Brokers should be able to tell you what services are out there, and the costs of those services. This stage can involve contacted different providers to find out more about them to see which one suit you best.
Once you have selected services and negotiated rates you will agree a date for your support to start. It is really important that communication is maintained between you and your service provider to keep a working relationship where you feel happy to raise any concerns you may have or ask for any changes you may want.
While consistent communication with your provider ensures your care changes to meet your needs, a formal review process with the body who is funding your support ensures they are happy that your budget is spent appropriately, that the support is meeting your needs, and to measure outcomes, whether your needs have changed, and to set new goals. Where new needs are identified, you should have a new assessment and budget allocation, where your needs have not changed you will review your support plan to set new goals and ensure you are achieving all that you want to with your support.
For more information about the services which Your Life Your Way offer follow this link to