Give people the choice - Stop the Edinburgh Direct Payments Freeze
- Rebecca Kemmer
- Closed on
- City of Edinburgh Council
- United Kingdom
Thank you for supporting our petition to ensure direct payment applications are processed. The petition was presented on the 19th of November at the full council meeting at the City Chambers in Edinburgh. The meeting lasted over 8 hours but we came away with a result. All Direct payment applications put in before 3rd of December will be processed before any decision regarding the tender of services is agreed.
Please see below a full summary from Ian Hood of the Learning Disability Alliance. Please follow the campaign at www.swanedinburgh.blogspot.com , www.bit.ly/3gunE7 & www.ldascotland.org. We also had some belated media interest in the run up to the 19th and hopefully this will continue.
At the Edinburgh Council meeting on the 19th of November, the Labour amendment was passed by 29 votes to 28. That means there is now a pause for breath while councils officials rush about doing what they should have done long ago.
The amendment is attached for your interest. My detailed understanding of this is as follows:
1. There will be a series of meetings this week organised by the Chief Executive of the CEC to look at the amendment and plan a campaign to meet its requirements.
2. All political parties will be involved in this and therefore there will be a number of different objectives to be met from the final report. The contract award will not be dead in the water, the Conservatives still want some residual progress on this.
3. Reps from the political parties will meet with service users and carers and organisations to discuss how concerns can be resolved. Since these concerns principally now are around is the money sufficient, there needs to be movement on 10 below. [The organisations are not likely to be anyone who tendered except in so far as they reflect the views of service users. It is legitimate to have a group called XXXX service users and carers group]
4. All people who apply for a Direct Payment will have their hours totalled and withdrawn from the contract award.
5. They will continue with their current provider on the usual basis until the Direct Payment is approved.
6. The date of Dec 3rd for this to take place no longer applies- we do not know what will happen with this. [But I would recommend that all applications are put in sooner rather than later. In the spirit of “partnership” it will allow better planning if they are in asap. If any organisation/service user groups/advocacy groups has problems supporting people in making this choice, then the council should be able to help.]
7. The question of choice for those who don’t want to be transferred but can’t get or don’t want a DP will be considered. Suggestions on this will be helpful.
8. All remaining hours are likely to be put into new contracts – the officials have stated that they do not have to award all contracts but those that they do should be in the region of 800 to 1200 hours per week.
9. The paper cutting Direct Payment rates to a new level does not apply - therefore there are no current proposals to reduce the level of Direct Payments.
10. This issue of the rate and how it will be set will be addressed by the later report. [This is an issues that it would be best for the CEOs to consider collectively in order to have a positive suggestion that will help the council officials decide what is to happen. It would be best that this takes places through the good offices of CCPS if that is possible.]
11. There was a lot of talk that 21% of a cut was too much when only 4% was mentioned as applying to internal services. Therefore while there will have to be a cut from the rates current it will be less than 21%, but probably higher than the target 10% for the tender project.
12. Winning bidders will be approached and asked to consider extending the 240 day validity of their tender. This runs out on Dec 5th and is one of the reasons for the hurry in this matter. An extension of 60 days will give more time.
13. There is a need to make sure that there is a voice for service users [A series of meetings need to be organised with service users of different organisations preferably in a collective fashion. This will give them information, advise them of their options and allow a demonstration of what consultation and involvement means. There should probably be some investment in facilitation of these. Some of us have some skills in this already but we should aim at lots of participation and evidence of this – MAPS – PATHS – DVDs and so on. We should invite council staff to come to these as well – equalities officers – Funding Independence people and so on.]
14. Carers too have to be considered in this, especially those of people with greater/complex needs. [see the point in 3 above]
Not all of this has to be done within 2 weeks but now that there is a pause for breath, I believe it is best for service users, their carers and the organisations that support them to take the initiative.
While it may seem this is only a 2 week delay, it is a major step forward in putting person centred service back on the agenda in Edinburgh. There is much to do but we can do it.
Information you should know about to sign this petition.
Edinburgh council has competitively tendered care and support services for 777 people. The council had a choice about how to do this and chose to put it out to competitive tender.
The council decided what services were needed and how things should be changed after only asking 8 people who used services. They sent out some letters and printed a pamphlet. The council said that if you weren’t happy you could ask for a Direct Payment. They passed a motion in May saying that they would make it possible for everyone to have a Direct Payment.
170 people asked for a Direct Payment so they could stay with their existing provider. There was so many people that the council staff were worried that they couldn’t award the contracts. Now the the Council have said who they want to give the new contracts to. Over 700 people will have to move to new providers unless they get a Direct Payment. However in October the council froze all Direct Payments to people in the tender process. At least 87 people cannot get their payment completed. No one new can make an application and get their Direct Payment for months.
You should sign this petition because asking for and getting a Direct Payment is a right once you get a service and you can take responsibility for your own money and life.
The council promised a choice. Some of the new providers have a poor record in quality and people might get a worse service. There is still time to change the council’s mind as the council decision has been delayed.
We, the undersigned, call on the City of Edinburgh council to honour the promise it has made to all people affected by the Care and Support tender that they could have a Direct Payment to buy a service of their own choice.
The Give people the choice - Stop the Edinburgh Direct Payments Freeze petition to City of Edinburgh Council was written by Rebecca Kemmer and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.