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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets

Direct Payments in Dorset

During this unprecedented time your wellbeing continues to be the heart of what we do, and we want to ensure that you can get the help you need to maintain your daily routine.

We hope the following information provides some help and reassurance in these difficult times. We will continue to update you with any further guidance we receive.

 

National Guidance

The government has produced national guidance to support those who use a Direct Payment.  

Skills for Care has collated some very useful questions and answers from across the country, which can be accessed via their Information Hub.

Local support for Direct Payment holders

BCP Council

The Together We Can initiative, is a close partnership of many public, private and voluntary sector organisations, as well as community groups and residents.  It is is bringing the local community together to offer help and support to vulnerable people. 

Dorset Council

See a list of the community support that is still available through the lockdown including support with shopping, wellbeing checks and help collecting prescriptions.

There are also a number of help and support lines for carers and loved ones to contact to for help, guidance and reassurance.

In addition to help in the wider community, Dorset Council will be making wellbeing calls over the next few weeks to people with Dorset Council Direct Payments who:

  • Use their DP to pay for day services
  • Have a DP and live alone
  • Use their DPs to pay for Personal Assistants

We recognise that during this time you may require additional care to support you or may already be struggling to get support at this time. If this is the case please contact our Covid 19 Community Response Hub on 01305 221000.

Alternatively, you can email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

Access to PPE contingency supplies

DP holders can request support from their relevant council to access contingency supplies of PPE by following the relevant PPE protocol:

Direct payments and PPE costs

For Dorset Council, please contact your relevant social care team to discuss any PPE related cost concerns.

For BCP Council, if a Personal Assistant is employed and there is no budget for PPE, we may add up to £30 to your Direct Payments account to purchase aprons, gloves, hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes and spray. Please contact your Direct Payments Advice Service to discuss this.

Other guidance for employers can be found on the ACAS website.

Paying for services using a Direct Payment - Covid-19 related queries

At Dorset Council, we have had a number of queries concerning payment for services so would like to confirm that:

  • in the Dorset Council area, where services are not received due to closure of the day opportunity, you should not make any payment to the provider
  • in the Dorset Council area, where a carer/PA is refusing to support you without a valid reason (for example they are not unwell/isolating/ or cannot get appropriate PPE if you are symptomatic), you should not make any payment

In all other circumstances Dorset Council will continue to pay their Direct Payments with the expectation that you will continue to pay for your usual support arrangement.

If you employ people under PAYE you may wish to contact your Employer Liability Insurer to ensure you follow the correct procedures, particularly if you are self-isolating.

If you are self-isolating and usually have support provided by self-employed workers, they may wish to visit the Government website for advice on 'what to do if you are self employed and getting less, or no work'. 

Payment queries for BCP Council should be directed to the following teams:

Further advice and guidance

If you, a member of your family, or someone you care for would like more information or has any questions about direct payments in general please get in touch with the relevant team:

  • For BCP Council

Bournemouth and Christchurch Direct Payments, Email: direct.payments@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or Tel: 01202 451863

Poole Direct Payments, Email: dpadviceservice@bcpcouncil.gov.uk or Tel: 01202 261033

 

  • For Dorset Council

Adults Commissioning Team, Email:  adultscommissioningteam@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk . A member of the team will respond to your query within 24 hours.

NHS Personal Health Care Budgets

There is information about Personal Health Budgets(PHBs) on the CCG Website.

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