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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Individual purchasing

MPS: personal assistants


People who are eligible for social care funding can choose to take their personal budget in the form of a direct payment and arrange their own care. This is known as individual purchasing or self-directed support.

Direct payment recipients choose who they contract with to support them to meet their social care needs or outcomes. This could be a care provider, micro-provider or a personal assistant (PA).

Taking a direct payment requires recipients to understand and fulfil a range of responsibilities which come with self-directed support. These include setting up and managing a contract for support between them and a care provider if that is who they choose to support them.

Support is available to them if they need help with financial administration, but the direct payment recipient, or their suitable person, is responsible for directing and managing all aspects of care and support delivery. Find out more about direct payments and self-directed support.

Personal assistants and micro-enterprise

A micro-provider is where a group of people get together to form a small company to deliver personal or enabling care, for example, a group of personal assistants. Generally, these organisations:

  • are independent of any larger organisation
  • are delivered by local people for other local people
  • can be run by anyone
  • have eight or fewer full-time equivalent staff or volunteers
  • offer services to people who need care or support

These micro-enterprises support people to:

  • live independently at home
  • live a full life and keep well
  • get around in their community and go shopping have
  • access meals, go to lunch clubs and a whole lot more

Devon personal assistant (PA) network

This network is provided free of charge by Devon County Council to assist people to find a PA and for PAs to list their services. Micro-providers can list their services here too.

Please be aware that PAs and micro-providers listed on this website are not employed by Devon County Council. A PA will either be employed by an individual who requires support or will be self-employed.

A PA or micro-provider is employed by someone who needs social care, either because of their age or disability, to enable them to live as independently as possible. This could include helping with shopping, household tasks, supporting people to access community resources like the library as well as community activities and leisure facilities.

A PA or micro-provider can also help with personal care such as bathing and getting dressed. If you are thinking about becoming a PA see the guide from Skills for Care.

Anyone considering employing a PA should take steps to make sure that the PA has all the necessary paperwork before they are employed.

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