Social workers have poor understanding of Direct Payments, official report says

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A study on the payments for people assessed as needing help to pay for their own care and support services has pointed out the issues of the project.

Known as ‘Direct Payments‘, the local payments were created by giving to users a personal budget to spend according to their own choosing preferences.

At the moment of writing 28.5% of Birmingham eligible citizens are using them. It is expected to increase to 30% by April 2019.

One of the main problems that the report identifies is the lack of knowledge of Direct Payments and the services it can offer by social workers.

Two respondents to the survey said:

“At the moment it seems I know more about Direct Payments than some social workers.”


“Because social workers have little knowledge of what’s out there to use your Direct Payments on they cannot advise you.”

In addition, the report says that there is a lack of support from social workers.

“Social workers didn’t offer any help. I was given my budget, and it was up to me to sort out everything.”

Andy Cave, CEO of Healthwatch Birmingham, presented the report to the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee in a meeting this morning.

Healthwatch Birmingham will monitor the changes that Birmingham City Council will do to improve the situation.

A final Impact Report will be published throughout this year.

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