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Offering people choice and control

Solihull is keen for as many people as possible to maintain and retain their independence for as long as possible.

Our Social Work Teams assess people and their needs in partnership with the individual and their carer. Sometimes, people will be able to self assess and on other occasions people may need the support of an independent advocate to ensure that they can play a part in the assessment process. If a person needs support, they will initially get a period of reablement which aims to maximise their independence before any on-going, long term support is set up – this normally lasts for up to 6 weeks and will also enable people to consider aids, adaptations and other pieces of equipment which can make their lives easier.

After the reablement period, if someone still requires support from the Council, they will receive a personal budget. This is the amount of money that the Council believes is enough to pay for meeting needs and people’s preferred outcomes in their lives.

Personal budgets are:

  • Up front allocations of money, which people can use flexibly to meet their needs in the way which they think is best.
  • A Direct Payment means that the person will receive their personal budget as a cash payment in their own Direct Payments bank account.
  • People can decide what support they receive, how that support is arranged, when and by whom. This gives people with eligible unmet needs total control over how their needs are met. This approach is called Personalisation.

If people want the Council to arrange services on their behalf, this is a managed Personal Budget – but people should still make decisions and make choices about how they ideally would like their needs to be met by the Council.

People who choose Direct Payments can have as much support as they want to manage the money; from support with payroll services to pay Personal Assistants, to fully managed accounts, which support the person to make all payments to staff, the Inland Revenue, provides the council with monitoring and manages the Direct Payment on behalf of the person with support needs. The person still makes all the choices about their care and support, they just don’t have to deal with all the responsibility of paying staff and managing the finances on their own.

The Council has Support Planners who will assist people through all the stages of arranging support and will be able to provide people with creative ideas and solutions to meet their needs and provide all the information needed about making a choice about how they would like their needs to be met.

Adult Social Care have commissioned “Ideal for All” to assist with managing Direct Payments for people who may find this process daunting or difficult. For more information on Direct Payments and personalisation please contact Solihull Connect or our Direct Payments Support services provided by  AUK – 0121 709 3056

“The personalisation programme allows each person receiving support to have control and choice over those services. Whilst it is mainly associated with direct payments and personal budgets it is also there to ensure that services are tailored to individual needs not one size fits all. There is evidence that those not seen to have capacity such as those with Dementia and those labelled with mental health are not getting a fair crack of the whip from personalisation” Rob Punton, Expert by Experience