Well having seen the bumbling incompetence of social services before they backed off when they realised my Dad was self funding surely the majority of people who are not self funding would be better off with this system.
You may well be right. I 'm just wondering, though, how difficult it's going to be for the elderly who DON"T have dementia to buy in help, particularly if they don't have any family to help. Hey that's a thought - I wonder if this system will allow you to employ your own relatives, which generally direct payments doesn't?
Mum mentioned this over the weekend and though the Holy Grail of care funding had been presented to the elderly. She said all our troubles may be over. I couldn't find anything on the news sites. So thanks for the link.
After reading the article I can see why mum feels good about it.
Individuals will be means-tested to assess their health and personal needs,
I'd really be delighted to be proved wrong about this, but I don't think this is the end of means testing for social care. I honestly think that any reports that suggest otherwise have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
Here's a quote from the above
"Personal Budgets will ensure people receiving public funding use available resources to choose their own support services – a right previously available only to self-funders."
Does that not imply that there will be some people who DON"T recieve public funding?
"A universal information, advice and advocacy service for people needing services and their carers irrespective of their eligibility for public funding"
In other words there will be people ineligible for public funding.
And another thing that makes me think I'm right - £520 million over 3 years to local councils. There is no way that is enough money to make up the sort of shortfall that stopping means testing would produce. And is it not a general principle that central government can't force LA's to provide services without givng them the funding to cover the "unexpected expenses"? If LA's were only getting this drop in the bucket but being expected to fund social care for everyone you would be deafened by howls of anguish.
I'm sorry but I think this is sloppy reporting rather than anything else.
And I've just foiund this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7136366.stm
"People already have to undergo assessment as to whether their needs are great enough to warrant help, and there is also strict means testing. Putting People First will only cater for those people currently entitled to funded care."
I'm a bit concerned that this is just "passing the buck". I want to know how the most vulnerable in our society are going to be able to handle booking care/support staff and paying them etc when they can't manage to look after themselves. Or am I missing something?
I don't think you are gigi. I do think there are some good ideas in the document (although how they'll work in practice remains to be seen) but I have serious doubts about how this will work, particularly if dementia is in the mix. I suppose it might be possible to make savings on a personal level - agency carers cost from £12 -£15 an hour, while Mrs Brown from next door might be willing to provide care for £8.00 an hour, but there's a reason agency carers cost that much - insurance, training etc. And what if you don't HAVE a Mrs Brown?
That's a good point-and are they saying that the money can be used for " Mrs. Brown" next door-or any family or friends who might be waiting for an opportunity to fleece them or just make some easy money. I think it's a real cause for concern and although in an ideal world these things wouldn't happen-in the real world we know they do- can we do more to make sure there are strategies(I hate that word) in place to protect those who need it?
Jennifer-to answer your question re: Can relatives be given payment? Iwas at ameeting yesterday ofthe directpayments team of my local authority and wastold that ifthe relative does not live at the same address then directpayments can be usedtopay relatives. It does seem to be the same thing I was trying to explain in my previous thread. Sorry about words sticking together - my spacebar has gone on strike xx TinaT
Isn't it always? I still don't see that this is any different to Direct Payments though. Unless there's going to be less oversight of this. And that doesn't sound like a good thing. For Direct Payments you (or someone) has to be the employer, making sure that you pay appropriate taxes and have appropriate insurance etc. etc. I can't believe that this option wouldn't require people to do the same thing. But it sounds like it's not an "option" at all - if you're eligible that's how it will be done, no choice at all. Now I'm reasonably well-educated, but I would think twice about becoming an employer in this situation. I think most people will end up with agency staff anyway, simply because of that. If there's less oversight, where does that leave the vulnerable elderly?
When i got the 10hrs Direct Payment money to get care in. I asked the Social Worker if i could get a neighbour in to look after him as he knows them. I got told i will check out their qualifications to do that- from Social Worker- and that will only happen if i approve them. So Social Workers can still rule the roost and put down their own laws. Its us that knows our familily and what is better for them not Social Workers who don't know them. My husband at the time wanted that to happen he didn't want a stranger. I wonder how many Social Workers have cared for someone single handed? I don't think many in the Government have.
As far as I understand from the conference I went to last week - the direct payments recipient can spend the money however he/she wishes as long as it is for care provided. There was no mention of a social worker vetoing payments in any way. The person receiving the direct payment will be able to use the money as and how he/she wishes. An exmaple I was given is that if a direct payment reciever wants to pay for himself and a neighbour to go to a football match then direct payments can be used for this purpose. The neighbour will be paid for as he is 'caring' for the person at the time of going to the match.
Direct payments will not be just for the elderly but for all 'servideusers'meaning allsections ofsociety who needtobecaredfor.( my spacebar keepsfalling offthekeyboard)
Questions were asked aboutanyone feckless enough tospend their directpayments on 'booze and fags' .....wasthe LocalAuthority still liable for the care oftheperson who had recklessly spent the money? The answerwas'Yes'!
There are so many questions unanswered relating to direct payments. In principle itseemslike agoodthing' Let's hope that a) enough money isforthcoming to properly implement itand b) the myriad of questions directpayments brings up will be properly addressed
Sorry I justcan'twriteanymore as this broken keyboard is drivingmecrazy xxTinaT
I would agree Tina - direct payments is a great idea in principle, particularly when it's an opt-in scheme - the people who want it can have it. What worries me about this new proposal is that it seems as if it's going to be compulsory if you qualify. I'm less concerned about the "spending it unwisely" issue, because I don't think that will happen that frequently. What I am concerned about is 1) there's not much point in giving people money if they can't find the service they need and 2)what sort of protections will be in place to protect the vulnerable. I just suspect 2) will make this non cost-effective.