If the person you care for needs help with managing their Personal Budget (such as Direct Payments) you can apply to Brent Council to become a “Suitable Person”, to help them manage this.
Please note if a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney or a Court of Protection appointed Deputy is already in place Brent Social Services will normally accept this instead. You only need to apply to become a “Suitable Person” if you are neither an Attorney nor a Deputy.
What are Direct Payments ?
Direct Payments is the most common type of Personal Budget made by Brent Social Services to a person who has chosen to buy the agreed care services they need for themselves, in accordance with the agreed Care Plan, as opposed to Brent Social Services organising this for them.
For more information on Direct Payments and the Community Care Assessment process have a look at our Brent Adult Social Services Cared-for Assessments page.
Do I need to become a “Suitable Person” ?
If you are a carer it is your choice as to whether you wish to become a “Suitable Person”; you should not be pressured into taking this role.
If you consider this responsibility is too much you can see whether someone else would be happy to take on this role. An alternative option is to revert to the “Traditional care package” whereby Brent Social Services will make the necessary arrangements to put the care package in place.
Who can apply to become a “Suitable Person” ?
It is for Brent Social Services to decide who should be the “Suitable Person”, as they need to be satisfied that he/she will act in the best interests of the direct payments recipient.
The “Suitable Person” must be available and willing to make support decisions and manage the direct payment on the person’s behalf, acting in their best interests.
The “Suitable Person” can be:
- a carer, family member or friend
- an attorney created by a lasting power of attorney
- a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection
- an independent support broker.
Therefore, the first step is to contact Brent Social Services.
Can anyone else manage the direct payment ?
The “Suitable Person” will be the only person who can have access to and manage the direct payment.
What happens next ?
If Brent Social Services authorises you to be the “Suitable Person” they will inform you of the arrangements you need to make, which will normally involve setting up some banking arrangements.
Responsibilities of a “Suitable Person”
As a “Suitable Person”, you must follow good practice in making decisions on behalf of the person you care for and act in their best interests. Even though the person you care for may lack capacity to make decisions about direct payments, they should be consulted as far as reasonably practicable. The person you care for should maintain as much control and independence as possible.
You may also need to consult other people who are close to them as well as health and social care professionals where this is appropriate.
You must also use the direct payments as set out in the agreed Care Plan issued by Brent Social Services. If you employ staff to provide services, you must ensure that you act lawfully as an employer.
If you consider that the person you care for is able to make their own decisions again you must inform Brent Social Services.
Your rights as a “Suitable person”
You can decide to give up acting as a “Suitable person”. In the future you may no longer want to carry on in this role.
Also, you are entitled to ask for support to help you manage the direct payments, which Brent Social Services can advise on.
Brent Carers Centre is here to help
Remember if you need help on any matter relating to your caring role, including making contact with Brent Social Services, please Contact Us.