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Direct Payments - Flintshires good practice recognised

Published: 15/04/2016

Following a recent review by the Wales Audit Office (WAO), Flintshire County Council has been heralded as an example of good practice throughout the UK for Direct Payments made to adults. Over 388 people in Flintshire now use Direct Payments - an increase of 89% since 2012, representing over 11% of all adult social care clients. Flintshire has also seen the largest percentage increase in average Direct Payments between 2006/07 and 2014/15 – up by 464% - which the Auditor General puts down to good quality guidance. Only two councils, Flintshire being one, have online application forms and a special mention was made of Flintshire for having Easy Guides written in very clear and accessible language. Flintshire also encourages users to pool resources and even create new and more appropriate care services through cooperation and social enterprise. Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: “We knew at the beginning that there were some teething problems but these have now been ironed out and it’s great to get this acknowledgement from the WAO. Our performance in developing this area has been exceptional – and has been recognised nationally as such. I would like to say well done to all the team whose hard work has really made a difference and set Flintshire up as a shining example.” Direct payments can be made to some residents who are eligible for help to meet their care needs. They can opt for their local authority to give them the money instead of a service. They can then use this money to arrange support that is right for them and their individual lifestyle. This is known as a Direct Payment.