August 2016 Newsletter Vol 59
Chit Chat Night
World Congress on disability and inclusion
Self-Directed Support bite size Part 3
Your Support Your Choice
Closure of LCiL Grapevine Disability Information Service in Midlothian
Digital Technology for Health and Wellbeing
BENEFITS – CHECK OUT
On 29th June, The Welfare Hall in Dalkeith was a hive of activity. The Local Area Co-ordination (LAC) team had invited around thirty people to find out about how they could get connected to others socially. Also there that evening were five organisations, Neighbourhood Networks, Equal Futures, get2gether, Gig Buddies and Connecting Midlothian Socially, each offering information, advice and opportunities for people to find out more about friendships and relationships.
Neighbourhood Networks vision is to see its members play a much more integral part in our communities. This doesn’t just mean taking a passive interest, but instead leading, with new and innovative ways of making connections and supporting communities to use the gifts, skills and strengths that all communities inevitably have, then turning these into positive outcomes for everyone!
Equal Futures vision is simple; they want everyone to have access to a good life. A good life for people with disabilities is not very different from a good life for anyone else and means inclusion and life long, loving relationships. They believe that everyone benefits from knowing other people.
At get2gether, they believe that everyone has the right to love and friendship, they also believe that people meeting each other shouldn’t be difficult or complicated.
Gig Buddies supports people with a learning disability to go to more gigs and events. The project matches people with a learning disability with others from the community who have a similar interest to go to gigs and events together.
Connecting Midlothian Socially is a disco held on the first Friday of every month at the community club in Mayfield. This is a well attended event and it’s a great way to meet new friends, have a dance, listen to music and have some fun.
The evening was a great success as was obvious from the buzz of conversation and laughter in the room. New friendships were already starting and people were fully engaged.
Here’s to the next event and the realisation that larger premises may be needed!!
Midlothian Local Area Co-ordination team
On 25-27 October 2016, there is to be a World Congress on disability and inclusion in Edinburgh. It will be held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. It is expected to be a very large event, attracting speakers and around 1000 delegates from across the world. The Congress is run by an organisation called Rehabilitation International with some partners. You can find out more about the Congress on this web-site http://riworldcongress.com/: This website is no longer active
Inclusion Scotland has managed to negotiate some opportunities for Scottish Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and Scottish disabled people to be involved in the Congress. It seemed important for disabled people to be included in an event on disability and inclusion! The opportunities are as follows:
50 free places for representatives of Scottish Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations that have a majority of disabled people on their Board) and Scottish disabled people (disabled people living in Scotland). If you would like to register for a free place, please fill in the registration form – From Include Scotland Web site http://inclusionscotland.org or download click this link Global World Congress registration form final. We expect that there will be more people wanting to attend than there are free places available, so unfortunately not everyone who registers can be guaranteed a place. Please fill out the online registration form if your Disabled People’s Organisations/ you would be interested in a free place at the Congress. http://inclusionscotland.org/world-congress-on-disability-and-inclusion-opportunities-to-be-involved/
Funding to meet the reasonable costs of disabled participants with a free place, like travel, overnight accommodation, etc. If you get a place Inclusion Scotland will contact you about this.
A stall for Disabled People’s Organisations to use. This is free. Please get in touch with Inclusion Scotland as soon as possible if you are involved with a Scottish Disabled People’s Organisations and would like to have some information about your organisations and its work on the stall.
An extension, just for Scottish Disabled People’s Organisations and Scottish disabled people, to the deadline for proposals on presentations until the end of July. If you have an idea for a presentation please fill in the attached presentation form and send it in before 31 July 2016 – Global World Congress presentations form final2
It would be good to have lots of Disabled People’s Organisations represented at this event and for their representatives to be disabled people. As places are limited, it is unlikely to be possible to find places for more than one or two representatives for each Disabled People’s Organisations.
Inclusion Scotland is not responsible for the World Congress. Inclusion Scotland are helping to ensure that Scottish disabled people are included in this important event. If you have any questions about it you can get in touch with us at: email@example.com. Please put ‘World Congress’ in the subject heading of your e-mail. We will answer your query ourselves if we can, or forward it on to the conference organisers so they can respond.
In the last issue of our newsletter we gave a bite sized overview of Self-Directed Support (SDS).
To recap, SDS is the only way any social care is now provided. In the past the Council would have decided what support you should get and arrange it for you. You wouldn’t have had much say over who supported you or the kind of support you got. SDS is about their individual making an informed choice in deciding how much ongoing control they wish to have.
In this issue we look at the planning needed for individuals, Agreeing the contract and some support available in the Midlothian Area. (This article co-produced with Midlothian Council).
Planning your support
What is a support plan?
A support plan sets out how you will use your money to buy support and how that support will help you make the changes in your life that you want to make.
What makes a good support plan?
Having a good support plan is really important but how can you make sure you give the professional working with you the information he or she needs to develop a support plan with you? To help you this guide sets out 8 important questions you should think about when planning support with the professional working with you:
- What are the things and people that are important to you?
- Where can you go to get the information and support you need?
- What are the things that you can do yourself?
- What are the main risks and how will we manage them?
- What are the things you want to do?
- How will you arrange your support?
- Who are the people who can help you do the things you want to do?
- What are the things (like information or funding) that will help you to do the things you want to do?
Advice and Information
You can ask your family members or a friend to help you at this stage.
You can also get information and advice from a local support organisation. The support for Midlothian is provided by Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living www.lothiancil.org.uk
An independent advocate help you to have a stronger voice?
Midlothian Local Advocates
CAPS – The Consultation and Advocacy Promotion Service ; for people aged 18-65 with mental health problems.
Old Stables, Eskmills Park, Station Road, Musselburgh, EH21 7PQ
Tel: 0131 273 5116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EARS Advocacy Service Midlothian
Older people and People over 16 with physical disability, acquired brain injury, stroke survivors (up to 2 years post stroke)
14 Ashley Place, Edinburgh, EH6 5PX
Tel: 0131 478 8866
Partners in Advocacy - Lothian Adults over 16 with Learning Disability.
2nd Floor, Beaverhall House, 27/5 Beaverhall Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4JE
Tel: 0131 478 7723
VOCAL Midlothian provides information, advice, support, counselling and advocacy to carers, former carers, and anyone working with carers.
VOCAL Carer Centre, 30/1 Hardengreen Estate, Dalhousie Road, Dalkeith, EH22 3NX
Tel: 0131 663 6869
Who Cares? Scotland Speaking out for young people in care
113 Rose Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4DT
Tel: 0131 226 9270
Young Persons plan
The Young Persons plan must be a single plan. If the Young Persons receives support from more than one public body or agency (such as support from the local council and the local NHS Board) it is up to the professionals to make sure their work is coordinated and recorded in a single plan.
What makes a good Young Persons plan?
The young person’s plan should:
Be as simple as necessary and written so that it can be clearly understood by the young person, parents or carers;
Set out the young person’s:
- Strengths in their personal, family and environmental circumstances
- Risks that they face
It should be based on an assessment and analysis of the child’s or young person’s needs. Be practical, possible and achievable; and be regularly monitored and reviewed, and amended as needs or circumstances change.
Involve a range of different people such as the young person receiving support;
- The parents of young person;
- Professionals from the agencies involved (such as social workers, teachers, doctors), and family and friends.
As we have said, Self Directed Support gives you choice and control over how you would like your support delivered. You will be given four options on the type of support you want and who you want to give you this support. – It’s your choice.
Option 1 This is usually called a direct payment with money being paid into your bank account, an account that can only be used for direct payments, and used for the support you require. This money can be used to employ support workers (personal assistants or staff provided by an agency) or to buy goods or services from organisations. If you employ a personal assistant you become an employer which means that you have the same legal responsibilities that any other employer must comply with; paying your personal assistants, and the taxman, for example. But, don’t let this put you off, LCIL will give you all the help you need with every aspect of being an employer – including managing your payroll (see below for full details of what support is available).
Option 1 isn’t confined to employing support staff, it also gives you the opportunity to be creative with your direct payment – joining a social or sports club for example.
If you want full control of your support – Option 1 is for you.
Option 3 is when the money is held by the Council or another organisation, but you are in charge of how the money is spent. This is sometimes called an individual budget or an individual service fund. If you want to have some choice in what kind of service you get but do not want to arrange the service yourself. Option 2 is for you.
Option 2 is when the individual budget is held by the Council and they arrange the support for you. If you do not want to choose your own support and are happy with everything being organised and provided by the Council, Option 3 is for you.
Option 4 is a mix of any of the above options. If you want to choose some of your support but have other parts arranged for you. Option 4 is for you.
In the final SDS bite we will give you examples of each of these options and the positive effects they have had on the people who have chose them.
Agreeing the Final Contract
You and the professionals agree the final support plan.
Midlothian council has to make sure the support you get is meeting your needs and that it is helping you to do all the things that were agreed in your support plan. One way they will do this is by taking a review of your needs from time to time. This will be in the final agreement.
What is a review?
A review is when the professional working with you takes another look at your support, to find out if your needs have changed. They might decide that you need more support or less support.
When should a review happen?
Councils would like to review people every year but they should also do a review if your needs have changed or if you have asked for them to be reviewed. The professional working with you should tell you before your review and clearly explain what will happen.
When can Midlothian Council refuse my choice of support?
Midlothian Councils and their staff have what is called a ‘duty of care’ which means that they have to be sure that any support they give you, or pay for, is meeting your needs. If they don’t think the support you want will meet your needs then they can refuse to arrange it with you.
The professional working with you should only refuse your chosen support if it is clear it will not meet your needs. If this happens they should:
- Explain why the kind of support you chose will not meet your needs
- Help you to look at other kinds of support that might meet your needs, and
- Tell you about your right to complain through the complaints procedure
What if Midlothian Council refuses your choice of support or you disagree with the professional working with you?
Firstly, you should speak to the member of staff who is working with you, or asked to speak to their manager. You can do this by E_mailing or writing to the Client Relations Officer (see below for contact details).
If you are still not satisfied, you can make an official complaint.
When you submit a complaint, the Council will let you know within 28 days that they have received it, and tell how they will progress your complaint.
They may need to interview you, and it’s important that you know that they won’t discriminate against you because you complained.
Midlothian Social Work
Fairfield House, 8 Lothian Road, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 3AA
Telephone: 0131 270 7500
If you are receiving or living in a service that is registered with the Care Commission such as a care agency, you can make a complaint directly to them:
telephone: 0845 600 9527
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
If you are unhappy about the outcome of your complaint, you have the right to have it considered by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
Freephone 0800 377 7330 or call 0131 225 5300
Freepost SPSO (this is all you need to write on the envelope, and you don’t need to use a stamp).
You could also contact one of the support organisations mentioned earlier.
Many disabled people choose to employ their own Personal Assistants (PAs) because it gives them more choice and flexibility around when, where and how support is provided to them.
The Independent Living Team can provide extensive support with your roles and responsibilities of employing a PA. You will be assigned an Independent Living Officer (ILO) who will work with you in a way that focuses on the type of support that matters most to you, taking account of your individual needs.
An ILO can help you with a whole range of things; recruitment, advertising (including placing an advert on LCIL’s website), writing job descriptions, contracts and rates of pay.
LCIL can also help you with; arranging and conducting interviews, following up references, staff induction and training, information about agreeing a probation period, staff rotas, public, employee and employer’s liability insurance and giving you information about your local peer support group. Importantly, LCIL’s payroll service will take care of everything to do with staff and HMRC payments.
LCIL also provide training for PA employers. Their Essential Employers Skills course covers topics such as:
- Employer Responsibilities (legal & good practice)
- Recruiting Employees
- Employer Management Skills
It is recommended that you make it a condition of employment that your PA is a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme, to ensure that they do not have any convictions which would make them unsuitable to work as your PA. LCIL can organise this for you.
For more information about the PVG Scheme please go to: www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/pvg/pvg_index
For full details of Lothian Centre of Inclusive Living services contact them at:
Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCiL)
Norton Park Centre, 57 Albion Road Edinburgh, EH7 5QY
Tel: 0131 475 2350
(Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm)
Minicom: 0131 475 2463
Employing close family members
You may be able to employ a close family member as your PA if:
- You are unable to find a care agency or employ a PA who can deliver the services you need
- You have special communication needs
- Your cultural or religious needs can only be met by a family member
- You and your social worker/care worker agree this is appropriate
However, if you want to employ a family member Midlothian Council must agree to this arrangement.
You should think very carefully about employing a family member who lives in the same house as you, as it will be difficult to separate the times when they are your employee and when they are delivering unpaid care.
Before approaching your social worker/care worker to discuss employing a family member you should think about:
- How this will change your relationship with them?
- How you will feel about being their boss?
- What you will do if they don’t do the job you are employing them to do?
- How you will feel if you have to end their employment?
If you are receiving support or may receive support in the future from Health & Social Care.
- Like to be better prepared for the assessment process and learn how to get the most out of it
- Like to learn how to get greater choice and control over the support you or the person you care for receives
- Learn about creative options that will allow you to live life the way you choose
This workshop is run by VOCAL (Voice of Carers across Lothian) Midlothian and LCiL (Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living) and is delivered for unpaid carers and their families.
Wednesday 31st August 2016
10.00 am – 12.30 pm
@ VOCAL Midlothian Carer Centre
30/1 Hardengreen Estate, Dalhousie Road, Dalkeith, EH22 3NX
Recognised Scottish charity – SC020755
Private limited company (Scotland) – SC183050
Since 2013 the number of people contacting Grapevine has more than tripled. In 2014-15, as welfare reforms started to hit disabled people hardest, 93 people contacted us with 455 enquiries. At the same the Grapevine team carried out 7 presentations to groups reaching over 60 Midlothian residents. Although disabled people, people with long term conditions and their supporters contacted Grapevine for specialised advice on benefits for disabled people, the service also received many queries about access issues, education, employment, legal rights and how to complain. In 2015-16, through one to one support to disabled people with their benefit entitlements, Grapevine was able to make a real difference to people’s lives bringing in a year £48,000 extra income to them through successful benefit claims.
Yet, in April 2016 the funding for the service was dropped, without officially informing LCiL and without telling the organisation how the decision had been made and by whom. Critically, ‘dropping’ the service happened without the local authority carrying an Equality Impact Assessment that should assess the impact of the decision of closing a major information service to a particularly disadvantaged group against the requirements of the public sector equality duty. It is also suspected that ‘dropping’ the service was made without informing Councillors who, ultimately, endorsed the situation without really being made aware of it other than by LCiL itself in May 2016.
To simply assume that mainstream services can pick up the pieces and offer the same level of needed specialised information and advice is disingenuous, especially when these agencies are facing increasing demand and rising numbers of people in crisis.
As a user led service Grapevine has long standing knowledge, and expertise in identifying barriers specifically faced by disabled people. It could provide accessible, independent and accurate information and advice to enable them take up their rights and entitlements. The service tailored communications and information in a way that ensured that the needs of disabled people were met at the right point in time, and in the most accessible format for the individual, irrespective of their condition/impairment. People also directly benefited from the experience of professionals used to adapting and tailoring their practice to people with long term conditions and often limited energy levels, while having varied capacity to deal with sometime complex information or difficult issues to address (e.g. building a case for disability related benefit).Many people appreciated to be able to have most, if not all, their queries answered although many were complex and related to others. Many others people were relieved, after having been passed from one organisation to another, to have their question answered and to receive the support they needed in the first place. Only a very small number of those queries would have been addressed by the, otherwise very useful, Midlothian Disabled People’s Directory. In 2015-16, amongst 66 contacts or 286 enquiries dealt by Grapevine 64% of these referrals didn’t need further signposting.
By being able to access a user-led organisation rooted in the lives of disabled people, people with long term condition and older people, a number of supported people had the opportunity to take part in forums where they could explore peer support and ways of developing personal and collective resilience in the face of very difficult challenges.
All of this has been lost as the request for a mere £6,690 has been turned down.
The Scottish government’s 2020 vision is that by 2020 everyone is able to live a longer healthier lives at home, or in a homely setting and, that Scotland will have a healthcare system where:
- Scotland has a integrated health and social care
- There is a focus on prevention, anticipation and supported self management
- When hospital treatment is required and cannot be provided in the community setting, Day case treatment will be the Norm
- Whatever the setting, care will be provided to the highest standards of quality and safety, with the person at the centre of all decision making There will be a focus on ensuring that people get back into their home or community environment as soon as appropriate, with minimal risk of readmission
Increasingly, technology will play a part in achieving this vision, allowing people to manage their health and care, as well as improve their wellbeing. It also enables individuals to live independent lives for as long as they can in their local communities, giving them greater choice and control.
Indeed, an important part of helping people live well with their condition is enabling them to manage their own health. Self-Management is a person centred approach to better health and wellbeing, providing the tools, activities and information people need to manage their condition effectively and live a full life. But increasingly technology is playing a significant role to support people to do this.
Technology also has a role in supporting a rights based approach to health and wellbeing by ensuring that individuals can have access to information and fully participate in decisions about their health and wellbeing. The Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers in Scotland offers an example of the ways in which rights can be used to empower individuals to take part in decisions, and makes clear what people have the right to expect. This increased participation of individuals who use supports and services amplifies their voices and recognises people as the experts in their own lives.
What is technology enabled care?
Many of us benefit from using computers on a daily basis to keep connected - to send messages, pay bills, talk to loved ones wherever they are in the world, share family photos. It’s now possible to use a computer to achieve almost anything: buy bus and train tickets, tax your car, claim benefits, find information, do your shopping. Computers, mobile ‘smart’ phones and ‘tablets’ – all of this is what is meant by ‘digital technology’ and it is becoming part of all of our lives. Increasingly technology is also playing a role in enabling people to live well. This leaflet shares examples of how digital technology is being used to enable people to manage their own health, improve wellbeing and support their independence. This includes technology in the home to support older people, disabled people or people who live with long term conditions to live well and safely at home.
What are the benefits of using digital technology?
- Reducing social isolation by enabling people to stay connected via technology to family and friends
- Feeling more safe and secure living at home
- Reducing unplanned admissions to hospital through quicker, more responsive services
- Improving self confidence in self managing health and wellbeing
- Increasing access to specialist hospital appointments and professional advice and support by using video-conferencing facilities, thus reducing unnecessary travel time
It is acknowledged that digital technology can play a role in:
- Reducing visits to Accident and Emergency
- Reducing emergency admissions
- Lowering mortality rates
- Reducing need for GP appointments
- Increasing individual choice and control
Using digital technology to live well
While advances in computers and technology have an important role to play in shaping the future of services, the number of people using digital technology is very variable in different areas in Scotland. Most of the developments in telehealth for example require people to have existing digital access such as broadband and good mobile (3G & 4G) signals.
While approximately 76% of the population in Scotland have internet access, there are places such as Glasgow where this figure is a much lower 60%. Those who are less likely to be connected to the internet are predominantly older, in lower income groups and likely to live in social, rented accommodation.
The Scottish Government is keen to increase the number of individuals in Scotland who have access to a range of telecare and telehealth. To make this happen they have invested in ensuring that people in Scotland can benefit from technology.
This is something that Scotland is already very good at - for example, the Joint Improvement Team’s Telecare Development Programme, which invested over £20 million over five years from 2006-2011, is regularly recognised as one of the top programmes of its kind across Europe. Additionally the Reshaping Care for Older People Change Fund has allocated £300 million on innovative solutions to improve health and wellbeing, including telehealth and telecare.
In order to further improve access, the Scottish Government has launched a £10 million fund to help health boards and local authorities embed technology enabled care as standard practice for people using health and social care and related support services.
Where to get help in Midlothian and find out more about digital technology.
Volunteer Midlothian Provide support in digital technology
The Connect Online project recruits volunteers who are comfortable using and sharing technology to provide support and tuition to socially isolated older people who may need help to stay in touch with family and friends and to maintain their independence.
Volunteers help in group settings at Computer Clubs throughout Midlothian, including Loanhead and Penicuik libraries, the Glencorse Centre in Auchendinny, Cowan Court Sheltered Housing in Penicuik and Crystalmount Sheltered Housing in Dalkeith.
Volunteer Midlothian also organise volunteers to offer one-to-one tuition in a library setting or in the learner’s home for housebound people or carers.
Ongoing support and training is provided to volunteers to keep their skills up-to-date, it is fun and challenging to never know what the next question might be, so learners and volunteers are always learning something new.
For more information please contact Una Tel: 0131 660 1216 or Email email@example.com
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), are you getting everything you’re entitled to?
It’s always worth getting an up to date benefit check to make sure you are claiming the right amount of benefit. It’s important that if you are claiming or are awarded ESA you get a proper assessment of your income, so you don’t miss out.
The type of ESA you receive depends on your situation. ESA is an income replacement benefit and is for people who have limited capacity for work. To begin a claim for ESA there is a limited capability for work questionnaire which will determine the rate you will receive along with your income levels. Under certain rules, if you have paid enough national insurance contributions this could also have an impact on the amount payable. The rules can get quite complicated.
If you were ‘migrated’ from Incapacity benefit on to ESA by the DWP, and you did not receive the full amount of ESA that you were entitled to, you could potentially reclaim this. Recent case law states that as it was the DWP’s responsibility to check this when your claim was changed, it is an ‘official error’ and the DWP should backdate your payments. We would advise speaking to a benefits agency if you think this might apply to you.
This differs from ‘Disability benefits’ such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance allowance, which are designed to support people with the additional costs of long term ill health or disability. You can receive a disability benefit and an income replacement benefit at the same time if you meet the criteria for both.
If you have moved from incapacity benefit, are a carer (who also has ill health or disability yourself), are on the middle or higher rates of care component (DLA) or daily living component (PIP), or are paying mortgage interest you may be missing out on some income related ESA.
The rules around benefits are complicated. Speak to a welfare rights advisor to make sure you are getting the right amount of ESA.
Thanks to Grapevine for this information
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