A consultation has gone live today (Wednesday) on proposals to give more Croydon adults greater financial independence and control over the council social care services they use.
In October, the council’s cabinet will decide whether to approve plans to make it easier and faster for local people to access personalised care budgets called Direct Payments. These allow eligible service users to have greater day-to-day control over the care they receive.
Between today and 16 August, the council wants to hear from service users or their carers on plans to cut the red tape and paperwork involved in Direct Payments. Around 600 adults are currently signed up in Croydon to Direct Payments, with up to another 4,000 borough residents who qualify but have not yet taken it up.
Direct Payments can be paid to either the person needing social care or someone else acting on their behalf to buy the care and support they need. Those who are unable to or who choose not have a Direct Payment will still receive all their care arranged by the council.
To make it easier for eligible residents to apply for Direct Payments, the proposed changes include:
• An agency that finds and trains personal assistants that will provide care and support to some people with a Direct Payment
• More choice via a new directory of care and support services
• Greater flexibility on how residents can spend their Direct Payments
• Support with a new online booking and registration system
• An opt-out available to those who prefer not to go online
Service users agree a support plan with the council that sets out what their Direct Payments can be spent on and is tailored to their individual needs. Depending on someone’s circumstances, Direct Payments can be spent on help and support including personal care, finances, socialising and respite. They cannot be spent on food and drink, anything illegal or harmful, household bills, private medical treatment or residential care.
“We’re proposing these changes so people receiving adult social care services get greater choice and independence over their day-to-day lives. What we want from this consultation are ideas and suggestions from residents, their loved ones and their carers so this new council policy is the best it can be when it goes for cabinet approval in the autumn. I urge anyone affected by these proposals to give us their feedback.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
For more information, visit the consultation on the council website.