Direct Payments for Care

What are Direct Payments?

Direct payments are a cash enablement for a recipient, after social work assessment to source and pay for a personal carer arranging their own care package directly with a supplier. The local council will assess the needs of an individual and determine whether they qualify and at what level typically a number of hours per week. The payments are made directly to the disabled or elderly individual. The payment is a sum which will be used to cover the employment of support and the overheads of operating and administration costs.

Over recent times at 1st 4 Healthcare we have seen a shift by the Council’s encouraging Direct Payments over the Council providing the service. It removes the overheads of the Council and thus reduces the cost to the Council. We have also been told by our clients having engaged 1st 4 Healthcare that they chose Direct Payments to give flexibility and control of who is providing the care services. We work closely with the client to maximise the package and provide a very personal service.

How it Works

Receiving direct payments means that you receive cash payments from your local authority or trust instead of social care services. You can then use this money to arrange your own care, which gives you more flexibility and control over how your care is provided.

To receive direct payments, you must first arrange a needs assessment from your local authority or trust. A needs assessment is free, and it is a good idea to get one if you or a loved one is finding it difficult to look after yourselves.

The assessment will establish whether your local authority or trust thinks that you have social care needs. If they do, they will also look at your finances to determine whether they should contribute towards the costs of the care and support you need.

If the financial assessment shows that you are entitled to receive community care services, they will set up a personal budget for you. The personal budget is the amount of money your local council will pay towards whatever social care and support you require.

The amount is determined by the kind of care services and support you need, how much it will cost and how much you can afford yourself.

You can choose to have your local authority to manage your personal budget for you, you can do it yourself or you can use the services of 1st 4 Healthcare. But, if you want to manage the money yourself you may be able to receive direct payments instead.
Contact Us

How 1st 4 Healthcare can help with your Direct Payments

You may decide to use a direct payment to pay a home care provider such as 1st 4 Healthcare to provide your care.

This means that you talk to 1st 4 Healthcare directly and have full control about how, when and where you want your care to be delivered.

If you choose 1st 4 Healthcare to help you in your Direct Payments care, we would be able to provide you with your very own Personal Assistant (PA). This will ensure that you are never without a PA.

We will look after all your HR and payroll needs, so you can rest assure we will take care of all of your Direct Payments package so you won’t need to:

  • Take out insurance – As an employer, it’s a legal requirement that you have Employers’ Liability insurance. The cost of this policy will be covered by your Direct Payments
  • Check your PA has the right to work in the UK
  • Employment Contracts – You have a legal responsibility to issue your PA a contract of employment on or before the day they start work
  • Complete a risk assessment with all PAs, where applicable. Develop your own ‘emergency plan’ to make sure that you have several options if your regular PAs are unavailable
  • Set up a workplace pension, if required
  • Ensure your PAs salary includes deductions, like tax and National Insurance. Speak to your payroll provider about any other payments or deductions that may be required
  • Pay all employed PAs 5.6 weeks annual leave (Pro Rata)
  • Maintain records of where your Direct Payment is being spent. Including keeping PA timesheets
  • Ensure all checks are carried out for self-employed PAs
  • Provide any training to your PAs that is required for them to do their job
  • Open a separate dedicated bank account
  • Keep financial records of everything going in and out of your DP account

Talk to us about your care needs

For further information on how we can support you with your direct payments,
please call our friendly team at our head office
, or email
If contacting us out of hours, please do leave a message and a member of the team will be in touch within 48 hours.
Contact Us
Registered in England
Company Number – 13210240.
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use