Case study - Emilie
Emilie chose her support through a direct payment to enable her to employ her own Personal Assistant. Emilie does not have any family or friends to support her and lives on her own. She contacted a DPO for support in managing her direct payment and in employing staff. Emilie has learning difficulties and short term memory loss; she also has underlying health issues and finds it difficult to communicate in writing or by phone.
As Emilie prefers face-to-face support, one of the DPO staff, an Independent Living Officer (ILO) regularly meets up with her to discuss her support. Support is provided through discussion, writing down guidance notes and keeping in touch with Emilie regularly to prompt her, and keep her up-to-date up with the things she needs to do, to manage her individualised package. Following Emilie's preferred approach to support and information allows her to understand her responsibilities and make informed choices.
While recruiting a new PA and amending the contracts of her existing PA, the ILO worked with the insurance provider, on Emilie's behalf, and made sure that Emilie understood the processes. As amending contracts is a complex process, the ILO liaised with the insurer's legal advice team with Emilie's permission. The ILO attended meetings with Emilie and her PA, provided her with guidance documents for contract amendment, and explained everything in a clear, simple, straightforward way during these meetings.
Emilie also has support to fill in returns for the local authority, and the ILO contacts her before every meeting to remind her what is required and fills in forms. Emilie may still require extensive support but her confidence has grown remarkably.
During her review Emilie said the support from the DPO, tailored to meet her specific needs, helps her to make decisions and allows her to manage her care package extremely well.