Patient health direct payments

Has anyone else heard of this or used it I found it on the internet the other day and my local CCG has a page dedicated to it. It was introduced by last government but obviously not well advertised. It is apparently a fund that can be agreed as a direct payment to pay for medical care. You keep your GP service but all else you pay for out of budget. Supposed to give us patients greater autonomy in our care and more flexiable options for medical care. People eligable need to have long term health conditions. I have tried to contact CCG and they have said they need an assessment by social worker. This is not however direct care payments it is for medical care. I think it could be very useful for us thyroid patients in enableing us to chose and afford a doctor we choose.

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I've heard about this before. What I'm not clear on is what happens if your health fund runs out of money?

Suppose someone with thyroid disease developed signs of other autoimmune diseases. The cost of investigation would be enormous, and as we all know there would be no guarantee that there would be adequate diagnosis and treatment at the end.

Suppose you have a serious accident, for example, that involves 5 operations, 3 months in hospital, and a year of rehab? Would the patient be expected to fork out tens of thousands of pounds to cover the shortfall?

I had a simple, common problem that was slowly killing me. In order to find the cause I ended up being seen by three hospitals and four consultants, and I also had multiple procedures, CT scans, MRI scans, stool tests, blood tests. From the time I first discussed it with my doctor to finding out the cause took roughly three and a half years. After the cause was finally found and dealt with I was given no help to recover from the effects of the severely delayed diagnosis and I've never fully recovered. No health fund would ever have paid for all that.

My experience of delayed diagnosis and treatment suggests that, when health funds are involved, the costs of poor treatment should be refunded. But I bet that would never happen - instead patients would probably have to shell out more money to take the NHS to court. And who can afford that?

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I think having read a bit about it, that you keep GP care and emergency care but have an agreed fund to support the rest. I am investigating. In my experiance a lot of NHS money has been wasted for me over thirty years and still with out NHS diagnoses. But most of my problems have been about doctors not listening. For the most part I have clearly known my needs but have had to fight doctors to get them met. If I am incharge of the funds I will be able to employ doctors that I know will meet my needs.

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Hi mandyjane.

I've heard of DP for social care to support an individual with tasks around the home, plus therapeutic and social inclusion activities.

It's instead of relying on SS support staff / care agencies, who can send in who they want, and you don't know from day to day which staff you will have.

DP means you can employ who you want (apart from relatives) to carry out daily tasks for you. You can be a bit more flexible in the tasks you ask your staff to do, although they should only be following a care plan written up by SS, and as agreed with the user.

You need a current account dedicated to just paying staff. You have to do timesheets for each employee, stating hours each worked, and I think you may have to include the tasks they carried out for you. The paperwork is audited every year by SS. You need to be confident with hiring and firing, although there is supposed to be someone to support you with this.

It seems to be a fairly closely guarded secret, as not many people who have carers have heard of DP.

I've not heard of DP for direct healthcare. If there is such a fund, then it would be wonderful for people who need to do their own private testing. However, just because I've not heard of it, doesn't mean it isn't out there.

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It look like having had a read of the policy in Bristol which maybe different in other parts of the country that you may need to be having a direct payment for social care to have a direct payment for health care. Which I think is why they are sending out a social worker to assess me first. I think you then have a nurses assessment. The gov website has info and I think this is just Bristol policy so may not apply else where. It has been keep very quiet I suppose for political reasons but I would be well happy with it.

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I presume you don't already have a care package?

If not, make a list of activites you struggle with, OR take a long time to achieve. Eg you may be able to get dressed, but if it takes you all morning, then I suggest you tell the assessor that you may be able to do it without help, but it takes so long, and takes so much energy that you then can't do x, y, z, or at least not until you have another snooze.

A care package can include social inclusion and social activities, so have a list of things that help you cope with life, eg going to regular social events such as a bingo or whatever.

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Thanks greenwall. I will make a list as you suggest I imagine councils are not over keen to hand out care packages.

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Exactly!

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