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Deciding what support you need

Support plans - deciding what support you need

If an assessment shows that you need care and support , or support if you are a carer, you will need to choose how to meet your needs and achieve the things you want. Creating a support plan will help you work this out.

The support plan will show your personal budget amount so you know how much money you have to spend on your care and support. It will include all of the different things you are doing to achieve the aims that were identified in your assessment.

The plan will be signed off once you, the council and any third party involved have agreed on it. You, and anyone else you want, will be given a final copy of the plan.

  • The needs identified by your assessment
  • How your needs meet the criteria for funding and support
  • The things you want to achieve with care and support - this is known as an outcome
  • For a carer, what you want to achieve, and your wishes around providing care, work, education and recreation
  • The amount of money which you can spend on services - this is known as a personal budget
  • Information and advice on how to keep as healthy as you can and stay independent
  • If your personal budget is being paid directly you (this is known as a direct payment), the support plan will show how often payments will be made to you
  • Back up plans in case of sudden change or emergency
  • Any needs being met by a carer will also be recorded and back up plans may also be prepared in care of any change in circumstances
  • A family member or friend
  • A broker - this is someone whose job it is to provide you with advice and information about what services are available in your area
  • Optalis independent care brokerage service
  • Social workers or other social care professionals
  • Local support services

Don’t worry you can include this in your support plan right from the beginning. You can consider what help you need during the difficult times and plan ahead for how you will deal with a sudden change or emergency. You will be able to access the extra support you need when you need it without waiting for any further approval.

If you already have a carer who is helping you, it will be important that they are involved in preparing your support plan. We will check that they are happy to continue and can offer the care and support you need. If they want to continue caring for you, things don’t need to change. We will include this information in your care plan so that if the situation changes for any reason, we will be ready to deal with it.

You will still have a personal budget and a care and support plan.

You could use your personal budget to buy support from an agency, to employ someone to help you, or to buy equipment, learn a skill or try a new hobby. You can choose what you need to help you achieve what you set out in your support plan.

As long as you spend your budget to help you  achieve what you set out in your support plan, you can use your money in creative, flexible and imaginative ways. These can often be very cost effective and are more tailored to suit you.

You can read more how people have used their personal budgets on the case studies page

Instead of buying care and support from an organisation, you can employ your own support worker - known as a personal assistant (PA) - who will report directly to you. You can do this for some or all of your care. A personal assistant can help you with a wide variety of tasks depending on your needs.

These can include support with:

  • Household tasks such as cleaning personal care and hygiene
  • Preparing and arranging meals
  • Mobility, both in your home and in the community
  • Work, education and training
  • Accessing leisure and social your finances and benefits
  • Activities

Employing a PA can give you more flexible and tailor-made support that suits you. You choose who comes into your home to support you and exactly what they do. You can work with your social care professional and local support services to sort out some of the practical things such as help with interviewing, paying them, and employment paperwork. 

Being an employer means being in charge of people. It is important that you treat people fairly and carry out your legal responsibilities as an employer. We can help you to get information, advice and support for this.

If you want to make small changes, like changing the times or day you receive support or take part in activities, you probably won't need our approval.

If you want to make larger changes, like choosing different activities or services, or stopping a service completely then you will need to tell us. This is because we need to make sure the activities and services you want to use are meet your and help you achieve the goals you set out in your support plan.

If your needs have changed, for example you need more help or something happens to someone who supports you, you should contact us. You may need to look at your needs again.

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