Direct payments and personal budgets for care services provided by local authorities and the NHS

Historically local authorities provided social care support by directly commissioning care services for people who needed them. This meant that the person receiving the service had no choice over how that service was delivered or by whom. Since 1996 there has been a concerted move towards personalisation – giving choice to the user of services about how services are provided and by whom.   Since 2014 NHS bodies have discretion to provide direct payments to adults and children across England and Wales. 

Under personalisation, an assessment of the needs of a person is undertaken and following that, a calculation is done to work out the cost of buying services to meet those needs. The resulting figure is then paid to the person in the form of a direct payment or personal budget. The person can then buy care services from a range of local providers in the way that best suits them.  There are some specific exclusions and so direct payments may not always be available however our experts at MJC Law we may be able to help if:

  • Direct payments are requested but are refused
  • Direct payments are forced on a person against their will
  • There is a failure by a local authority or NHS body to be transparent about how they have assessed the level of direct payment by reference to an assessment of needs
  • There is a reduction in the amount of a direct payment without a full reassessment of needs

Having a personal budget and receiving direct payments gives you the choice and flexibility to commission services to meet your needs in a way that suits you.  If you are being refused that option contact us today and we will do our best to help you.