Hampshire Centre for Independent Living have already received concerns from Direct Payments users after a report entitled ‘Improving Hampshire’s Direct Payments Scheme’ was submitted to Hampshire County Council’s cabinet meeting on 23 July.
This report outlined some of the areas that would be covered in a consultation document due to be released this autumn. It may appear premature for people to raise concerns before the consultation document is even released however it is interesting which issues have been focussed on, in the report to cabinet.
Firstly, Hampshire are consulting on whether users should be financially assessed over the phone rather than in person, and whether this should occur at the user’s initial contact with Adult or Children Services.
Secondly, Hampshire wish to introduce a ‘Direct Payments Risk Assessment’. This will record and combine information on the size of the Direct Payment, the user’s perceived ability to manage their Direct Payment and other evidence that will enable a profile to be built up and understand whether the user is using their Direct Payments appropriately.
Thirdly, they will be consulting on tightening up the controls and governance of the assistance available to users from Support Worker Organisations such as Enham and SCIL.
Fourthly, Hampshire are proposing to introduce ‘outcome planning’ to ensure that all users agree their desired outcomes before agreeing to receive Direct Payments.
All these proposals seem to be heading in a particular direction and it will be interesting to read the consultation document in full when it is released in Autumn 2007.