1.How many adults, receiving support, have a direct payment within your local authority?
2. How many children do you support that have a direct payment within your local authority?
3. How many of your direct payment recipients require extra support with the administration of their direct payments?
Circa 800 adults per year receive a financial administration service (previously known as ‘Managed Account’) and circa 400 per year receive a payroll service.
4a. Do you provide or commission a service that manages or supports your direct payment users with the administration of their direct payment, doing such tasks as Paying invoices for care or returning documents to the local authority on behalf of the direct payment user?
4b. Who is this provider of this service within your local authority?
4c. Please provide the specification for the contract that is currently in place for this service or outline what the main duties of the service provider are?
Direct Payments Support services – Payroll and Management Account service description
For Employers/Those with a Personal Assistant:
- Act as a payment agency for all employer liabilities, including but not limited to processing P46/P45 for personal assistants, issuing pay slips, calculating payments due from timesheets, calculating Statuary payments and obtaining refunds from HMRC, holiday leave and pension payments where applicable and within the required time frames. Maintain correct audit procedures.
- Establish the status of the personal assistant through a signed declaration from the individual to declare that they are registered with HMRC under self-assessment. If such a declaration is not received, then the personal assistant will be advised at that point by Disability Focus that they will be treated for the purpose of payroll as an employee.
- When a case is to be closed, Disability Focus must contact the direct payment recipient and obtain a final timesheet so that a final payment can be made, P45’s issued and the relevant third parties closed. For example, HMRC PAYE Scheme and the Nest Pension Scheme.
For Direct Payment recipients paying an agency:
- Liaise with service providers re all invoices to be paid
- Pay invoices to service providers
- Keep records of payment due and payments made each month
- On account closure contact service providers to arrange to pay final balance
- Raise with Devon County Council (DCC) any concerns as to whether direct payment is being spent appropriately
- Advise DCC once payment made an account can be closed
- Directing Employer to Mark Bates for HR advise or Care Direct.
- Completion of Surplus reporting
- Assistance in budget profiling and visitations of clients
For people on the Devon Card:
- Use the PFS system to manage and record payments to providers
- All activities are the same apart from the action of making payments. For payroll only, disability focus do not have access to the Devon Card, so they cannot make the payments. All liabilities stay with the Card Holder.
To provide payroll services for families who are employing enablers and to fully manage accounts on the behalf of parents who cannot do this themselves. This involves payroll and making payments identified in the child’s short break plan.
4d. What is the annual cost of the service currently on place?
£275,000 per annum, depending on actual numbers
4e. When does your contract with your current provider end?
Devon County Council do not hold this information. Timeline for procurement is yet to be confirmed
5a. Do you provide or commission a service to provide information and signposting support for your direct payment users?
Adults – No. the Devon County Council public webpages contain information on Self-Directed Support to help and inform Direct Payments recipients and we provide a PA network (service directory) on Pinpoint.
Children – We employ Direct Payment Co-ordinators, Social Care Assessors and Social Workers, all whom provide signposting advice. We often signpost families to Signpost Plus and PinPoint
5b. Who is this provider of this service within your local authority?
Signpost Plus and PinPoint provide information to families
5c. Please provide the specification for the contract that is currently in place for this service or outline what the main duties of the service provider are?
5d. What is the annual cost of the service currently on place?
5e. When does your contract with your current provider end?
6. How many of your direct payment recipients make an assessed financial contribution to their direct payment?
Unknown as payments are made net of any client contribution. Those in receipt of Direct Payments for Children’s Short Break are not means tested.
7.Please provide the title, name and contact information for the officer responsible for commissioning these services within your local authority
Community Health and Social Care services for Eastern Devon.
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS FT & Devon County Council
8. Please provide the title and the name of the offer in charge of quality assuring these services mentioned in this FOI
Contract monitoring of Direct Payments Support Services is undertaken by representatives of the Direct Payments steering group
9. What is the percentage of direct payments within your authority that continue beyond two years and have had both the six week review and at least one annual reconciliation of the direct payment account?
Devon County Council believe compliance with this request would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which is £450 or 18 hours of officer time. This is because we would need to review each payment individually, and there are over 2000 direct payments at any one time.
10. How many cases of fraud or misuse have you identified within the last 2 years?
11. Do you process your direct payments in house or do you have someone that provides this service for you?
12.What systems do you offer direct payments service users for payroll? Are they inhouse or an external provider, please name the provider if external.
External provider – Disability Focus
13. Is the processing of your direct payments done inhouse or is this a task provided by an external service provider?