Many thanks to Rosemary Burslem for drawing my attention to the following guide to Direct Payments, which has been published by Social Care Wales. It can be read in full by clicking here.
This is a very illuminating guide, which clearly shows that Direct Payments can be used for other things as well as support from personal assistants.
“Myth 3 Direct payments are only for employing PAs
The great thing about direct payments is the opportunity to be creative. Employing a PA is one of many options to meet an individual’s personal well-being outcomes. For example, direct payments can be used to buy equipment, pay for activities to reduce loneliness, isolation or to develop confidence or gym membership or transport to access community facilities.”
The Dewis website- see: https://www.dewis.wales/using-direct-payments says:
You can spend your money on social activities, evening classes and even holidays if they are in your care plan. Direct payments can also help if you want to do paid work or a training course.
Equipment and minor home adaptations
If you need special equipment or minor home adaptations an amount to cover these things might be included in your direct payments.
It is clear that Direct Payments are intended to improve choice, control and independence for people. This is further evidence of the appalling practices of Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC), who have done everything in their power to discourage DP recipients from spending their money on things that they are clearly entitled to. I believe that WCBC view that DP’s can only be used to pay for support is not in line with the ethos of the law on Direct Payments. When drawing up Care Plans with people who have chosen to have DPs Social Workers and clients should be allowed to be creative in how this funding is spent, as in the examples above.
Those of us who do receive Direct Payments throughout Wales should read the article provided by Social Care Wales, and remember that we are in control of the money we receive and as long as it is spent responsibly and appropriately, then there is little that Local Authorities can object to.