Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Direct Payment arrangements

You are currently receiving a direct payment to meet your assessed social care needs. As part of the recent response to COVID-19, Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership have recognised that you may be having difficulties meeting your assessed needs within your normal arrangements.  For example, if you or your Personal Assistant (PA) need to self-isolate or if you are having any difficulties accessing agency support.

The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 allows for local authorities to grant permission for DP recipients to employ family members in a range of circumstances, including when there is a lack of alternative providers, or when there is an emergency or short-term necessity for the support. Under the current circumstances and the recent announcement regarding 3 week restrictions, we would agree that employment of a family member may be the only viable option currently available to you.

We recognise that alternative arrangements will need to be flexible. They will be agreed on a temporary, short term basis, in order to ensure that your care needs are being met. As the DP recipient you will still be responsible for ensuring that all spend is appropriate, that it meets your assessed needs and that you have evidence to support this, for example, with receipts.

We have been in touch with Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCiL) about what other flexible arrangements might be helpful and include the following scenarios to help you make a decision about how best to ensure your assessed needs continue to be met.

Scenario One: If you normally have support to accompany you to the supermarket, you can instead use your direct payment to cover the cost of a delivery. This could extend to the cost of delivery for other essential items.

Scenario Two: If you have an assessed need for meal preparation and have specific dietary requirements related to your condition, you could use your direct payment to purchase pre-prepared meals from a specialised service.

Scenario Three: If you are self-isolating/social-distancing due to your condition and you need to go to a hospital appointment but your PA cannot take you, you can pay for a taxi to get to the appointment to minimise contact with others.

The following scenarios may also be applicable if no restrictions apply, for example, on movement or travel:

Scenario Four: If you need help washing your hair and your PA can no longer support this task, then you can use your direct payment to pay a hairdresser for this task.

Scenario Five: If you normally require support with essential housework and can’t access this you could use your direct payment to hire a cleaning service.

Scenario Six: If you normally have the help of a Personal Assistant (PA) for your laundry you could use your direct payment to purchase these services from a company who can pick up, wash and return your laundry.

Any flexible arrangements put in place will be temporary and we will need to review these in time. Right now, we want to make sure that you are able to make the necessary arrangements for your care that keep you safe and at home.

We understand that this will be a worrying time for you and you may have further questions about what options are available to you to help meet your needs. If your needs change, or you are unable to access any alternative arrangements and need further assistance, please contact Social Care Direct on 0131 200 2324.

Judith Proctor

Chief Officer
Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership

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