If you get a personal budget you could employ your own personal assistants (PAs) to support your health and social care needs.
This can help you live independently and in a way that you choose – your PAs work for you so you decide what you want them to do and when you want them to work.
This also means that you become an employer, which can be daunting at first as there are lots of things to think about. However there is lots of advice and guidance out there to help and you can do training to help you become a better employer.
Christina Candey employs a team of PAs and says:
“It has made such a difference to my life. It’s given me choice and control over who supports me and enabled me to be more independent. I like to be involved in every aspect of my care and support to ensure that it’s tailored around what I want and need, and I have a committed team that enables me to do this.”
First of all she’s involved in the whole recruitment process - she knows what she wants and writes this in her job descriptions and adverts so that people who apply have realistic expectations of the job role.
She also works closely with Surry Independent Living Council (SILC) to ensure her PAs have the right skills through good induction and training.
Most of the training is done in-house and face to face so that it can be tailored to her individual needs. It’s included person-centred care, dignity and respect, safeguarding, moving and positioning, pressure ulcer care, communication.
In particular, having bespoke training around moving and positioning has had a positive impact on Christina’s everyday life – she and her PAs are now much more aware of how to protect themselves and others.
Christina applied for Skills for Care’s individual employer fund to pay for this training and says
“Without the funding from Skills for Care, none of this learning would have taken place or can take place in the future. I encourage all individual employers to find a good learning provider who will listen to their individual needs, and then apply for funding through Skills for Care.”
Find out more
Find out more about employing your own PAs and applying for funding on Skills for Care’s ‘Information hub for individual employers and PAs.’ Visit www.skillsforcare.org.uk/iepahub.