View Full Version : Direct Payments and Personal Assistants

25-02-13, 11:24
Hi everyone,

I am doing some research into Care Brokerage services - the use of direct payments and personal assistants. The government has instructed local authorities that they want as many people as they can to be put on direct payments.

I am trying to find some people to talk to about their experiences using these services. I am interested in hearing about the positive aspects and the negative ones.

Some people have mentioned worries about the fact that personal assistants are unregulated whilst others have commented on direct payments taking a long time, not having enough money or support.

If anyone wants to contact me to talk to me about their experiences that would be great.
[phone no. deleted as per forum rules]

26-02-13, 18:52

I am really interested in the use of personal assistants as they are unregulated. There has been lots in the news for the last few years about carers abusing people in old age homes as well as home carers.

Does anyone use a personal assistant (as part of the government's new personalisation scheme) that would want to share some of their experiences?

Has anyone had a bad experience with a personal assistant due to the fact that they are not subject to the same regulations as nursing home carers?


[phone no. deleted]

sea queen
26-02-13, 19:50
I have some experience not of P/A's but home care agencies.
IMO although they are checked by the CQC this is not enough and local social services or some such body should do a more personal check on the homes they are entering.
We are on our 3rd agencie in less than two years. Obviously it would be inappropriate for me to say anymore as i have spoken to the right people about this.
Finally we seem to have an agency that supports as they should and staff who are confident and know their job.

Account removed
26-02-13, 22:34
Well of course when you pay a person peanuts well you know the saying.

If not if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys.

I have now been helping out at a School for disabled children so had to have a CRB check, I helped out at a nursing home the same time so had to have an advanced CRB check, and then when I helped out at a charity I had to again have another CRB check done.

This is now changing and I would only need one CRB done every three years

But I will be very honest most people who I've seen in care home are people who want to do a bit of work to help out with pension or people who cannot find any other work.

I would not work in care home or look after the sick or disabled if I could find better work, that's the problem the people that are doing this job are like the ones who mistreated those disabled people on TV.

If you want to have better staff then sadly they have to pay better wages.

27-02-13, 23:30
Hi Gemma,

I receive Direct Payments to cover adhoc care requirements. I tend to use care agencies within my local area or if needed, other agencies when staying away. I've probably used 10 or different agencies and much more staff.

It normally works well, but after a while some agencies have become less reliable. They haven't been able to confirm staff availability, or I have to chase them. When it does work I try to request the same PA. They handle various requests well, for example meeting me at different locations or sometimes sleeping over and sometimes not.

The DP part works well. Most agencies seem to take card payments, for those that don't I pay by cheque and then transfer the money back to me. As long as I keep the correct paperwork my local authority is ok with this.

Hope that helps

sea queen
28-02-13, 10:54
Yes like you Vantage we have had similar probs with the agencies they start off ok - then slide backwards.
Daughter has moneis paid into an account just for D.P and her co-funding is paid into it by her.
I pay by cheque and keep all paper work up to date sending it off to D/P office on a regular basis.
It's true also to say that the care workers are under paid (well I think so) and many employ younger staff who haven't really yet learned the skills needed to assist people in their own homes.
We have I hope now found an agency who appears to employ staff in their mid 20's who are proving to be more competant and confident in the assisstance they give. The agency have also been able to cover all areas of need.
There is another way at looking at the payment of care workers treborc and one employed by s/s on foster carers that is ' They do not want to encourage people to go for these jobs because it is 'good money' - it attracts the wrong kind of person' ????

28-02-13, 11:03
Hi Vantage and Sea Queen, yes that is all really helpful. Would you be available to have a chat with me over the phone so I can find out a bit more?

28-02-13, 20:58
Hi Vantage and Sea Queen, yes that is all really helpful. Would you be available to have a chat with me over the phone so I can find out a bit more?

Hi Gemma, could you give us background to your research? Who its for etc? Then we could perhaps arrange a chat.

01-03-13, 12:58
I am a trainee journalist and am writing a feature article on this subject. I have been doing lots of research into this area. Talking to people who use these services will be really beneficial to the research. Hope this helps!

04-03-13, 16:54
Would you still be interested in arranging a chat?

04-03-13, 17:13
Can you also tell us what publication this is for?

05-03-13, 21:37
I will pitch it to publications such as Community Care or the Independent

05-03-13, 22:13
Have you had any experience with Direct Payments that you would be interested in sharing with me?

06-03-13, 08:59
I will pitch it to publications such as Community Care or the Independent

Do you have any links to any other articles you've written?

So you don't actually have a commission from a publication to write this piece?

06-03-13, 11:15
Here is one example of something I wrote for the Ham and High express newspaper which was also put online. If you need anymore links let me know, i've written for a number of publications. As I said at the beginning of this thread im a trainee journalist. Once I have got a bit further with my feature I will start offering it to publications. My main aim at the moment is to speak to as many people using direct payments as possible.
http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/news/community_founded_as_art_transforms_the_lives_of_o nce_isolated_1_1799191

06-03-13, 23:37
After seeing an example of my work would you be interested in talking to me about direct payments? I would be happy to speak over the phone or face to face?

07-03-13, 10:52
After seeing an example of my work would you be interested in talking to me about direct payments? I would be happy to speak over the phone or face to face?

Hi. Thanks for the link. There seem to be a lot of people asking for people to interview on the forum, lately, who don't always seem to understand the necessity for showing people that they are genuine etc. Makes me and a lot of people wary.

Sorry, I don't have any personal experience with direct payments, so can't help you. Hopefully others will be able to.

sea queen
07-03-13, 11:05
Direct Payments are a good thing. However I don't like the idea of a list of agencies to 'stick a pin in' to choose. S/Services are not able to recommend - how then are we supposed to know how good the agencies are? Of course we can look at the CQC and see how they have faired in their assessment, but this also has the draw back that they only go in at intervals and check the agencies.
As I said before, the agencies need to have a body of people from social services to monitor the consistency of the care they give to people in their own homes. Plus social workers who know how the D/P system works for each individual and what they can and cannot use it for.

08-03-13, 12:25
Hi Vantage and Sea Queen Im still looking to talk to people with direct experience with direct payments and personal assistants. Would you be interested in sharing?