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									 MERTON COUNCIL
 PUTTING YOU FIRST                                                     July 2010


                                                                               Issue 1
         Direct Payments Newsletter                                          Date 2009



 col)
 Merton Managed Accounts and Pre-Paid Cards Consultation
Welcome to a special edition of the Direct      Because of the developments in adult social
Payments Newsletter, aiming to give you         care, we need to look at the ways we plan to
an update on Self-Directed Support in           deliver your personal budget to you, to make
Merton, and exciting improvements to            it as easy and straight forward as possible.
direct payments that could be coming
your way.                                       Two methods we are considering
                                                introducing are pre-paid cards and Merton
On the 1st June 2010, Merton began Phase        Managed Accounts. You can find more
Two of the Self Directed Support (SDS)          information about these further in the
delivery process. This has meant all new        newsletter.
social care customers who have assessed
eligible needs are going through the SDS        Direct Payments are one way customers
process and receiving a personal budget.        can have their personal budget delivered.
                                                Therefore, we would like you, the Direct
                                                Payments customers, to be the first to know
To date, 45 people across social care           about the proposed developments, to try
(including young people in Transition,          them out, and to find out how you feel about
people with a learning disability, Older        them. This newsletter is designed to give
People, People with a Mental Health Issue)      you some more information about the
have received an indicative allocation and      proposed developments, and invite you to
are now going through the support planning      let us know what you think.
phase, and a further 22 people have
received a personal budget. So far, most        For more information on Self Directed
customers have chosen to have a direct          Support, please contact Heather Begg
payment, and some have chosen to have           (Project Lead) on 0208 545 4515,or email
their services directly provided for them by    enquiries to:
their social care practitioner.                 PersonalisationQueries@merton.gov.uk
By October (the start of Phase 3 of SDS         www.merton.gov.uk/tasc: Up-to-date
delivery process) all existing customers will   information about Merton’s Adult Services
go through the SDS process at the point of      Transformation Programme, including
their scheduled review.                         resource documents and customer forms
MERTON COUNCIL
PUTTING YOU FIRST




                       Pre-Paid Cards
What are Pre-paid cards?                         Could I spend too much by mistake?
A pre-paid card is a method of delivering        No. Your money will be paid into your
your direct payment to you. It is a unique       account the same way as it is now, usually
Visa debit card, which can be loaded with        every four weeks, so you won’t be able to
your allocated budget by the Council for you     spend more than your allocation. There is no
to spend on services that meet your needs.       overdraft on the account so you can only
The cards can be topped up at regular            spend what you have.
intervals or for one-off payments, and the
funds are available to spend with any            Will I be able to pay my private personal
                                                 .
organisation able to accept card payments.       assistant using a pre-paid card?
You will be able to pay for your services        Yes. You will be able to pay for services
over the telephone, in person or online or via   through BACS. If you are using a payroll
BACS.                                            company you can pay for the service via the
                                                 telephone or online.
 What are the advantages?
  You will not have to supply us with           Will I have to pay for a pre-paid card?
   any monitoring information like you           No.
   do at the moment, as the finance
   officer will be able to monitor your          Will I have support until I get used to the
   account directly online                       pre-paid cards?
  If you can’t get a bank account, you          Yes. We will go through the whole process
   will still be able to have a pre-paid         with you, and make sure you know how to
   card as no credit checks are                  use the new cards. The whole team are here
   required                                      to help you every step of the way so you
  More people will be able to access            won’t be left on your own.
   direct payments who haven’t
   previously been able to                        How will this affect me?
  You can have direct access to your              We would like Direct Payments
   money 24 hours a day, seven days               customers to be the first people in
   a week including telephone and                 Merton to have the chance to use these
   internet banking                               new cards. We talked about pre-paid
  Enables us to get money to our                 cards at the last forum and members
   customers quicker                              were eager to try them out. We would
                                                  like to invite you to the next Direct
                                                  Payments forum to give you some more
                                                  information. Details of the next forum can
                                                  be found at the back of the newsletter.
  MERTON COUNCIL
  PUTTING YOU FIRST


Merton Managed Accounts
What is a Merton Managed Account?
A Merton Managed Account is where your           Customers who may need more support to
personal budget allocation is held and           manage their financial affairs and who do
looked after by Merton Council. Part or all of   not have support in the community.
your personal budget is loaded onto your
pre-paid card (see previous page for more        Will I still be able to control the type of
information), which Merton then holds for        services I want to receive?
you. This means you will have control over       Yes, as long as they meet the agreed needs
how you want your money spent, but we will       and outcomes that have been agreed in
monitor how much is being spent, pay for         your support plan. You will tell us how to
any services you receive directly from it, and   spend your money, but we will make all the
be responsible for things such as payroll if     payments. We will keep you informed of
you employ a carer.                              your balance, and verify bills and timesheets
                                                 submitted for payment with you.
 What are the advantages?
  You have control over your care,              Will I have to pay for this service?
   but Merton looks after the money              It is likely there will be a charge for this
  You can choose to have your                   service. However, it is likely this will form
   whole budget administered by the              part of your personal budget allocation,
   Council, or just part of it                   which is subject to a financial assessment.
  It enables people with limited
   capacity to still have some choice
   and control over their personal
                                                    The Pilot
   budget
                                                    If pre-paid cards and Merton managed
  If the Council arranges services
                                                    accounts go ahead in Merton, we will
   for a large number of customers
                                                    contact you about giving you your
   this may help to lower costs with
                                                    direct payments through a pre-paid
   certain providers
                                                    card. The pilot would last around six
  This type of account can be used
                                                    months, and we will be there every
   where there are safeguarding
                                                    step of the way to help you with this
   worries
                                                    new process. Throughout the pilot and
                                                    at the end of the scheme, we will give
Who is this suitable for?                           you every opportunity to let us know
This type of account will be suitable for all       what you think.
customers though is aimed at those
                                            The Consultation
Direct Payments Forum
                                            Now you know a little bit more about pre-
At the next Direct Payments forum we        paid cards and Merton managed accounts,
will be talking in more detail about pre-   we would like you to tell us what you think
paid cards and Merton managed               about them. These developments are
accounts.                                   designed to make the process of receiving
                                            direct payments easier for our customers.
      Find out how they would work         Remember we will be there every step of the
       for you                              way to make sure you understand the
      Ask any questions you might          changes that may happen.
       have
      Meet with a representative of        Your answers will help us make a decision
       Boston Marks, who have               about the next steps to take in direct
       worked with other authorities        payments, and whether or not you want to
       introducing pre-paid cards           be part of this.
      Meet with Daniel Clark from
       Direct Payments who will talk to     Please complete the enclosed
       you further about Merton             questionnaire, and return it to us by 31st
       managed accounts                     August 2010.
      Give us your thoughts on the
       developments                         Or come along to the next Direct Payments
      Find out about the pilot and talk    forum on Monday 2nd August and give us
       to the Direct Payments Team          your feedback there.
       about how we will be
       supporting you
                                            The Direct Payments Team
Monday 2nd August, 11am – 1.30pm,
All Saints Day Centre, South
Wimbledon

If you would like to attend please
contact us on 020 8545 3632.

We look forward to seeing you there!

								
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