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Carers UK Forum • Direct payments
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Direct payments

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:34 am
by George_1907
Hi everyone,

My mother has Parkinsons and I recently took over providing my mother's care from early April, as the care company did not have protective equipment and we felt the risks were too big. My mother had previously been contacted by social care Scotland to inform her she was in a position to employ a family member because of the circumstances, and so she decided to employ me and so I moved in and took over. Social services confirmed with me that the care company was deemed not to be meeting my mother's needs and that it was agreed I was in the best position to provide the care until necessary.

The council contacted me to tell me to pay myself from the online account where the direct payment is held.

However the care company also asked for the weeks notice payment, which is also the first week that I began providing the care.

I am trying to find out if the council should pay a double payment for that overlap, but i am getting slow repsones from the council, as they are understandably very busy right now. I tried citizens advice and their consumer department too, but no one seems to be able to help answer this.

Does anyone have any insight on this or recommendations on where else I can find out about our rights regarding it?

Many thanks

George

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:37 am
by bowlingbun
No, as they were failing to meet mum's needs they were in breach of contract, and should therefore not be demanding notice. Google "Breach of Contract Frustration" for more details.
I had to cancel my son's carers with immediate effect and didn't pay any notice. In his case, staff just didn't turn up so he was left with no food!!!
(I have a degree in Business Studies, Contract Law was one of my favourite subjects!!)

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:47 am
by Jane Carers UK
Hello George

I've submitted your question to our advice team and will post their response on here when they get back to me

Best wishes

Jane

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:53 am
by George_1907
Thanks Jane much appreciated.

Bowlingbun, that was the words of social services (deemed not to be meeting her needs), however that was after, and because of, my mother and myself cancelling the service which was mainly because there was no protective equipment. They had tried to get the equipment but as we know there has been a lack of. Having said that on the final day the carer did turn up with a face mask for the first time, but was wearing it under their chin the entire visit.

Aside from concerns of the virus, we did have concerns the company was not providing a good enough service and decided the risks were just not worth it for the help given. So I wouldn't know what part of the contract they breached, if any, however i have now paid them for that week out of the direct payment but not sure where it leaves me.

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:39 pm
by bowlingbun
Unless you have some money left over from a time when you didn't have all the care you needed, it's unlikely that the LA will pay twice. This is one of the big problems of Direct Payments. They just want to give you the money and then refuse to provide support when there is an issue. That's why I gave up.

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:12 am
by Jane Carers UK
Hello George

Here is the response from our Advice line team:

Dear George,

Thank you for your message.

Usually, when you end a contract with an agency, there is a clause in the contract which states something along the lines of when the service user ends the contract, they would need to give one weeks' notice, and this may include pay.

However, you may be able to argue the points of them not having the protective equipment needed to provide care to your mother, and also that they were deemed to not be meeting her needs, so you had no choice but to end the service with immediate effect. You will need to go into more detail there, i.e. how were they not meeting her needs? Can social services provide a statement to support this?

Also, are rules relaxed a bit because of covid-19? As I am sure more families have taken the decision to stop care agency support to best protect their loved ones by self isolating. You can ask the care agency for their policy on the current crisis.

We are advising carers to also start thinking about creating a contingency plan, and this is where you plan for emergencies. Please see more information about this here - https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... mergencies

Should the caring responsibilities become too much, we would suggest that you contact social services to see what support can be provided.

We wish you and your mother safe and well.

Best wishes,
Carers UK.

Re: Direct payments

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:08 pm
by George_1907
Jane Carers UK wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:12 am
Hello George

Here is the response from our Advice line team:

Dear George,

Thank you for your message.

Usually, when you end a contract with an agency, there is a clause in the contract which states something along the lines of when the service user ends the contract, they would need to give one weeks' notice, and this may include pay.

However, you may be able to argue the points of them not having the protective equipment needed to provide care to your mother, and also that they were deemed to not be meeting her needs, so you had no choice but to end the service with immediate effect. You will need to go into more detail there, i.e. how were they not meeting her needs? Can social services provide a statement to support this?

Also, are rules relaxed a bit because of covid-19? As I am sure more families have taken the decision to stop care agency support to best protect their loved ones by self isolating. You can ask the care agency for their policy on the current crisis.

We are advising carers to also start thinking about creating a contingency plan, and this is where you plan for emergencies. Please see more information about this here - https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... mergencies

Should the caring responsibilities become too much, we would suggest that you contact social services to see what support can be provided.

We wish you and your mother safe and well.

Best wishes,
Carers UK.
Many thanks Jane for posting their reply.

However my issue isn't really to with whether or not the care company should be paid the weeks notice (they were paid already anyway) but rather, who should pay for that. My mother is receiving a direct payment for her care, and I am now providing the care package and have been instructed by the council to pay myself from her direct payment. If her direct payment is for her care, should it be the council who cover the weeks notice payment for the care company (for the week they didnt work) considering the exceptional circumstances, as my mother still needed care for that week...Or should she be expected to be without payment for care for that week.

Because I am officially now providing her care package I'm just trying to find out where i should stand regarding this missing week. If any other information is available regarding this it would be much appreciated. As I can't seem to find answers anywhere else :)

George