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Decision details

Investment in a Direct Payment Support Service

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Health and Social Care

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To externally commission a Direct Payment Support Service for people using Direct Payments to receive dedicated advice and support to set up their Direct Payment appropriately and employ their Personal Assistants.


The investment is an interim 2-year contract with option to extend, while options for longer-term Direct Payment support solutions are explored. £170k per annum. £340k



That the Executive Member for Health and Social Care:-


1.             Approves the tendering of an external Direct Payments Support Service for an interim 2-year period with the option to extend. The cost will be £170k per annum.


a)             This will ensure Care Act 2014 compliance by providing people, and our staff, with specialist advice and support. This is particularly relevant for people choosing to employ Personal Assistants.


b)             During this interim period a full options appraisal will be undertaken to explore the longer-term solution for Direct Payment support. The options appraisal will be co-produced and explore options such as creating an in-house support option, continuing with a procured service, building a community-based user-led consortium, and creating a free-market of several providers.


2.             Delegates authority to the Executive Director, People / Director of Adult Services, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Commercial Services and the Director of Legal and Governance to:


a)             Decide the award of the new contract to the successful service provider chosen by the Council following the procurement.


Take all other decisions necessary to meet the aims, objectives and outcomes of this report which are not already covered by existing delegations in the Leaders Scheme of Delegations.


Reasons for the decision:

·                To ensure that employers of PAs have sufficient information and support to meet their legal obligations

·                To provide support and advice to staff, and to increase worker confidence in Direct Payments

·                To provide upfront support that improves budget decisions and management

·                To remove support tasks from workers relating to PA employment issues, freeing up time to deliver social work activities

To improve the customer and staff journey, streamlining processes


Alternative options considered:

·       Do nothing – continue with Care Act non-compliance and maintain current risks

·       An in-house support service - we currently lack the skill and capacity to achieve this, this will be considered as a longer-term option. Currently we do not have the time to set this up and recruit and train staff to the required standards


Publication date: 14/10/2021

Date of decision: 14/10/2021

Effective from: 21/10/2021

Accompanying Documents: