Directors warn on direct payments

Direct payments should only be used to employ close relatives in
exceptional circumstances, the Association of Directors of Social
Services has urged in its response to a government

The ADSS told the Department of Health that it supports
individuals in employing close relatives where there is no
available alternative. However, guidance “should state that this
remains an exception and close relatives should not be employed as
a rule”. This is in order to preserve individuals’

The ADSS was responding to the consultation on the Community
Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 draft policy and practice guidance.
It welcomed guidance on making jointly-funded payments with health,
but claims that an opportunity has been missed to make it a duty
for health to fund them, “leaving it open for them not to do

The ADSS also explained how the performance indicator system for
assessing social services does not encourage the extension of
direct payments, as the indicator for intensive home care
specifically excludes direct payments in calculating the
council’s performance.

Also in its response the ADSS says that direct payment users
should not have to pay VAT on personal care as a council using the
same agency would not have to pay tax.

The consultation period has now closed.

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