In 2015, we started delivering direct payments support in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
This was a major expansion for us and the largest single new piece of work we had ever undertaken.
It was a big challenge, but thanks to the hard work of the staff in West Wales, supported by staff in Cardiff, they have managed to adapt to a new way of working and increase the number of people using direct payments.
As of March 2018, we had 1207 Service Users; we also have 19 members of staff spread across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
This is thanks to a dedicated team of Independent Living Advisors working all over the West Wales providing great support to service users and promoting the service at events and meetings.
In summer 2016, we began to run Peer Support Group meetings in each county. These have proven to be a great success, with plenty of service users attending to give us their views. The meetings haven’t been all business though, we’ve tried to make them as enjoyable as possible, and I don’t know what shows this better than holding one of the meetings in a Chocolate Factory!
We’d like to thank our service users, not only for their patience during the transition period but also for their feedback on how to improve our services. We know that they are ‘experts by experience’ and we are always pleased to take their advice on board. We also love to hear their stories about how the service has helped people, and their families, and offer the following as an example of what direct payments can do.
“Being in receipt of Direct Payments has made a tremendous difference to my husband’s and my quality of life.”
“We are able to employ someone of our choice and able to arrange days and times to suit us and therefore have a quality call instead of using an agency with different staff all the time and unable to choose the time of day for personal care calls.”
“My husband is enjoying the carer coming to our home as he will not go to a Day Centre although we have tried several times. It also gives me a break from caring and we have been able to develop a relationship with the carer.”
“I really cannot express the value I place on Direct Payments. A wonderful scheme.”