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Staying independent 2016/17

Enabling people to remain as independent as possible is a key priority for the Council and we help them to achieve this in a number of ways. 

Personal budgets and pre-paid cards

Personal budgets are the way that people in need of care and support services manage and receive money from the Council. People living in the community can choose to have their personal budget managed by the Council or they can have a personal budget paid to them as a direct payment.

During 2016/17 1,107 people had their personal budget managed by the Council. 544 people chose to have a direct payment.

In late 2015 we introduced prepaid cards to pay direct payments to people. The prepaid card looks and works like a debit card and people can use it to pay for services.

161 people opted to use a prepaid card in 2016/17. Since April 2017 a further 152 people have applied for a prepaid card. 

Case Study

Henry is a young man with multiple and complex needs.  He has a diagnosis of severe autism, severe learning difficulties and ADHD.  Due to his complex needs and his difficulty with communication, he can display challenging behaviour.  At times, Henry’s family had difficulty in managing his behaviour. 

Henry had an assessment from the Adult Social Care Team.  As Henry has severe learning difficulties and limited speech, this was carried out in consultation with the people that knew Henry the best, such as his parents and his teacher, and by using PECS, a pictoral communication tool. 

Henry’s assessment took into account all his needs and an indicative budget was produced.  The people that knew Henry worked together to produce a package of care that would support his needs. 

Due to his ADHD, Henry needs to be kept active and access activities within the community with support from his Personal Assistants.  Henry used to have real issues with eating, and so going out for meals, again with the support from his Personal Assistants, was deemed very beneficial for Henry both in terms of eating proper food and learning the social skills at food times. 

Henry’s Mum chose to have a personal budget for Henry and had this in the form of a Direct Payment.  This gave Henry the choice and control over what activities he could do, when he could do them, and what he could do. 

As a result of this package of care, Henry is happy and content.  His health and wellbeing has improved.  He is eating proper meals consisting of healthy food, and his behaviour has reduced.  He has matured into a calmer and charming young man. 

This bespoke package of care, tailor made to suit Henry’s needs, would not have been possible without the choice and control of the Direct Payment system.  It has really worked for Henry. 

Watch Henry’s story here:

Better Living Centre

The Better Living Centre provides help and support to elderly adults, young disabled adults and carers. It is a place where people can test out gadgets and equipment that may help them remain independent in their own homes for longer. It features a demonstration home comprising a kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom.

Case Study

Barbara and Alfred Kinchin visited the centre in early 2017 and explained: “The Better Living Centre has been really helpful. We were advised about equipment, which since we have had installed, has made both of our lives easier and gives us peace of mind.”

Care at Home

In 2016 the Council started a process to tender a range of services under the label ‘Care and Support at Home and in the Community’. These services support people to live at home, promoting their independence and well-being for as long as possible. The services commission:

  • Domiciliary care providers, visiting people in their own homes to provide support;
  • Reablement support, to enable people to regain confidence and skills after a period of ill health or a fall;
  • Specialist care in the home for people who have more complex needs;
  • Services to enable carers to have a short break.

As part of this exercise the borough was divided into three localities – Lots 1, 2 and 3. One lead provider was appointed for each locality and since April 2017 they have been providing care and support to people in Solihull.


In 2016 the Council’s Reablement service was involved in a review, which was part of a wider transformation called the Advancing Adult Social Care programme. A new operating model for Reablement came into effect in October 2016 and involves people being supported by both the Council and external organisations on behalf of the Council.

Find out more about the Solihull Reablement Service by downloading our leaflet: (PDF)