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Every person’s direct payment experience is different and personal to their needs. Ruils gives the support and guidance you need to set up and use your direct payments.

How direct payments can be used

Below are some personal accounts and benefits of how people are using their direct payments to support and live independently.

How Ms C uses her direct payment

Ms C, 37, uses her direct payments to employ 4 PAs (personal assistants) who support her with day-to-day activities. Ms C has a learning disability and has used direct payments since leaving school, 18 years ago in 2004. She now lives independently in her own flat and her PAs take it in turns to support her, 6 days a week. The direct payment has enabled Ms C to choose different PAs to support her with different activities; for example, leisure activities such as playing football and computer games.

Ms C also uses her direct payments to access the community activities centre 2 days a week, taking part in cooking and art classes which she enjoys. This is beneficial for Ms C as her care plan encourages her to interact with others and meet more people. These activities have enhanced Ms C’s social skills and confidence. When she was younger, Ms C used her direct payments towards a training course that would increase her employment chances of working in the catering and hospitality industry; after a few years she decided that she wanted to focus on her cooking and art classes. Currently, one of her PA’s is helping Ms C to explore volunteering opportunities.

Ms C is also supported by her father, Mr N (he lives walking distance from her flat), who manages the payroll using the direct payments on a spreadsheet and sorts out the PAs pensions, tax and national insurance.

Mr N states that using and manging direct payments for his daughter allows much more flexibility for her to choose which activities she wants to attend each week and she appreciates having full responsibility to interview and choose her PAs.

How Mr M uses his direct payment

Mr M, 48, is a keen artist and has work displayed. He has Arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects his muscle and bone structure; this has a significant effect on his ability to use his arms, hands, legs and feet.

Mr C has been using direct payments for 24 years (since it was first introduced). He uses his direct payments to employ his own Personal Assistants (PA’s) as he has 20 hours of care a day. He has three PAs that are rostered on for 4 days at a time, with two PAs as substitutes. Mr C finds direct payments beneficial as he can ensure he is employing the right staff to take care of him day to day, to understand what is important to him as an artist. He said, “he likes using direct payments as I’m the employer and I have the responsibility to employ the people I want, it is a lot more flexible and some of my PA’s are artists too”, so they have similar interests. He goes on to say that “you’ve also got to remember that you are responsible for your staff as well”.

PAs support Mr C on a daily basis with tasks such as personal hygiene, preparing meals and drinks, helping him to visit his family in Warwickshire. The support enables Mr C to spend time doing activities that he enjoys and spending time with like-minded people that also enjoy art

How Mr B uses his direct payment

Mr B has a physical disability, cerebral palsy, which means he is restricted to an electric wheelchair. He lives in a flat on the second floor. The care agency ILA (Independent Living Advisor) supplies 13 hours of direct support and 24 hours live in care. Mr B has two PAs (personal assistants) and the main one lives in the same building.

Initially, Mr B was given a couple of options by his care worker 12 years ago when his current provider could no longer meet his needs, they eventually agreed to start using direct payments as he thought it was the best thing to do.

Mr B initially found it difficult as it was a big responsibility, however, after a while he adjusted to a different mindset and can now go out when he wants with the help and support of his PAs, using his direct payment.

This is has helped Mr B’s parents, as they can no longer care for Mr B due to getting older and moving away. Having 2 PAs reassures his parents, knowing that Mr B is in the best care and can live more independently without their help.

Mr B highly recommends using direct payments as it has given him a better-quality life and more flexibility within his day. He has more support and care for practical help such as shopping and cleaning and personal care such as washing and dressing. Mr B has lived at home all his life but now, with more care he can go further afield and see his family and friends more often. Mr B feels he has more confidence since using direct payments and feels more at ease.

How Mr M uses direct payments

Mr M, 28, has a heart condition, problems with his memory, as well as experiencing learning disability-related seizures. He has also been diagnosed with depression, and due to Covid-19, was unable to access his regular art therapy and counselling sessions.

Despite being a friendly and sociable person, Mr M, has been become extremely socially isolated, and increasingly fearful of going out. This has led to prolonged low moods, spending more time in bed, and requiring prompting and encouragement to get up, wash and have regular meals.

Ruils, our local direct payment provider received a referral to support Mr M to find a PA (personal assistant) to assist him with activities and developing some structure to his week. Once they reviewed the applicants, Mr M and his father decided to carry out an interview over Zoom with a PA (personal assistant) and an ILA (Independent Living Advisor) from Ruils to explain the process of employing a PA, using his direct payment.

The PA was studying BSc (Hons) Sports Science, which was a huge plus for Mr M, as he would be able to support Mr M with advice on staying fit and healthy and living a better-quality life.

Mr M and his PA now meet regularly at the local park, speak on the telephone and video call. Using a direct payment has been positive for Mr M as he is now able to stay fit and healthy through the support of his PA.

Updated: 17 November 2022

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