Understanding our situation

Across County Durham, we have seen a lower use of Direct Payments than other parts of the North East. This piece of work is seeking to understand more about why this is. 

Through listening to people's experiences regarding Direct Payments and the options available locally, we want to help improve the support that is able in the future. 

What are Direct Payments?

A Direct Payment can be made to a person who has been assessed as needing care and support services. Typically, social workers help identify how much it will cost to meet the needs of the person. This is called a Personal Budget.

People can get this personal budget money from Social Care as a Direct Payment.

People then have choice and control of how they use this money to pay for their care and support.

Collaborating with communities

To develop our approaches for this work, we have collaborated with a range of partners. Key support was provided by Inclusion North, who facilitated our partnership work with a selection of local organisations. 

By working hand in hand with partners who know the audience we need to hear from, the materials produced have been designed with their expertise and knowledge at the centre. This took place over a series of months to help make sure we were as prepared as possible. 

The opportunity to listen the views of people who do, as well as those who do not use Direct Payments has been launched in February 2024. The opportunity to gather feedback will run until April 2024. 

The partners who helped develop the materials will be key to capturing people's views. The opportunity to support these conversations has also been extended to other services involved with people who are eligible for Direct Payments across the County too. 

Once we have been able to collate all of the comments we receive, information about what people have told us will be added to this page.