Essex County Council is running a consultation looking at the contracts we have for services that help people to use their Direct Payments. These are services that help people with:
– Writing their Care and Support Plan
– Payroll for Personal Assistants who they employ
– Accounts Payable, helping people to pay bills and invoices
– Help and advice to recruit a Personal Assistant
– Help and advice on employment issues for people who have their own Personal Assistant

We are looking at changing how some of the services are delivered and we need to understand how this may affect service users and carers. The questions we are asking will help us to make sure we design and have the right services.

PrePaid Card service
Essex County Council will soon offer people a new Prepaid Card service, which will help people to pay for services using their Direct Payment. We need to consult with people who use the Accounts Payable service to pay for things, to see if there are any reasons why they would not be able to use a Prepaid Card instead. Information about the Prepaid Card is available on the consultation page.

Some people get training for themselves and for their Personal Assistants. At the moment the money for this can be included in people’s Direct Payment and is also paid for as part of our employment advice contract. We want to understand if there are any reasons why people who need it couldn’t pay for training using the money we put in their Direct Payment.

Because this is a change to how the service works, we are consulting with people to check what impact this change might have.

What we will do with the information you provide
We will use the results of this survey to identify what support you require and how we can better shape and provide services to meet your needs. Your participation in the survey is voluntary and will not affect any support that you currently receive on behalf of Essex County Council. You can complete the survey on behalf of your child or someone that you care for.

The information you provide will be used only for these purposes unless something you tell us leads us to be concerned for your safety, or someone else’s safety. If we are concerned we will need to talk to you further about this, and also share this information with other professionals.

Completing the survey
The survey is open online until 28 April 2016 and can be completed by clicking here

If you would prefer to complete this survey over the telephone, or require it in an alternative format, please call Healthwatch on 0300 5001895 (between 9am and 5pm, Mondays-Fridays except public holidays) and they can arrange to do this on our behalf.

If you have any questions about the service that you/ the person you care for currently receive please contact either:
Adult Social Care 0345 603 7630
Children’s Social Care 0345 603 7627

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