Patients to employ relatives as carers with individual budgets

Patients can employ close relatives as carers using individual budgets, according to care services minister Phil Hope.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

Individual budgets can improve greatly carers’ quality of life when compared with carers of people using conventional social services, independent research from Kent and York universities shows.

Individual budgets are an alternative way of paying for social care. Instead of local authorities buying services on behalf of an individual, that person is given control of their own budget and can direct how it is spent, allowing the care package to be tailored to their needs.

Mr Hope said: ‘I appreciate the mixed views and worries that exist on the issue of paying carers from individual budgets.

‘For some people, employing close relatives might be a good solution, for others less so. Councils will need to take decisions based on the best possible advice.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Should patient budgets be used to employ relatives as carers?

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