CECOPS & Personal Budgets (for equipment) – is it viable?
We are often asked if our Code of Practice could be extended to include Personal Budgets. Some people and families have reported to us that they would like to use a Personal Budget for obtaining (usually) complex disability equipment, but at present there does not appear to be sufficient safeguards, guidance and processes in place to support this.
We have agreed to take a provisional look at this. We feel there are quite a few areas that need to be addressed to make PBs for equipment more workable including, for example:
- Clear guidance on how to facilitate a PB for equipment – for organisations, clinical staff, users and carers, and suppliers
- The readiness of the (supplier) market
- How PBs could be used within existing financial arrangements (e.g. s.75 pooled funding arrangements – or the new ‘Better Care Fund’)
- Defined responsibilities around ownership and maintenance of equipment, and back-up arrangements (i.e. what happens if a piece of complex equipment breaks down?)
- The necessary safeguards and how to reduce the number of potential risks
- The inefficiencies of not recycling equipment, and ensuring the overall economics are considered
- The standard suppliers would be expected to work to and a way of validating this
- Would this also apply to wheelchair services – if so, what about the existing voucher scheme?
- Would this be for all community equipment items or just complex items
- Would this include continuing health care equipment?
Can you help us?
We feel having the ability to use a Personal Budget to acquire certain pieces of disability equipment would be beneficial for some people, but the issues above need to be sorted first.
We would very much welcome your feedback or comments on the inclusion of Personal Budgets for disability equipment in our Code i.e. do you think it would be a good idea?
Please consider the points identified above and share any thoughts you might have on these. Also feel free to list other areas we have not identified. Fundamentally we would want to know from you whether or not you feel offering personal budgets for disability equipment is workable.
Please send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Personal Budgets’. Thank you.