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3.8 Direct Payments


  1. Employment of Staff
  2. Recruitment of Staff
  3. Direct Payments not Agreed

1. Employment of Staff

People who employ their own staff may be less inclined to come forward if there are problems with staff. People may not realise that certain treatment by their staff may constitute Abuse. People may need additional support to follow a disciplinary process.

People employing their own staff should be supported to keep themselves safe by:

  • Checking references and Disclosure and Barring Service checks before employing staff;
  • Setting out clear boundaries and expectations of staff;
  • Seeking advice over any concerns of bullying, harassment or any other form of Abuse from staff.

2. Recruitment of Staff

If recruiting a new Personal Assistant (PA) people should arrange an induction explaining exactly what is expected of them and to what standard. They should also ensure a review of the PA’s performance (through appraisals) should take place after three months and six monthly thereafter.

If issues arise with the PA’s performance or attitude, actions may include:

  • Safeguarding Adult Concern - Contact the Local Authority to raise a Safeguarding Concern reporting the Abuse, Neglect or mistreatment. This should happen prior to any disciplinary meeting. The Local Authority team will support you throughout the process;
  • Supervision meeting - to have the opportunity to talk through any issues relating to quality of care;
  • Disciplinary meeting - to address unacceptable behaviour, breach of contract, gross misconduct etc. Before undertaking a disciplinary meeting, you may need to check employer’s liability insurance provider.

3. Direct Payments not Agreed

Adult Social Care should not agree to a Direct Payment if there are reasonable grounds to believe the Adult at Risk will employ someone likely to abuse them.

Reasonable grounds include:

  • Evidence of past criminal or non-criminal investigations relating to the alleged Abuse of Adults at Risk or children that resulted in a conviction or police caution; or
  • A finding that the allegation was proved, admitted or likely on the balance of probability.

It also includes:

  • Other relevant criminal convictions (such as for theft or violence);
  • Disciplinary action (such as dismissal for gross misconduct);
  • Removal of the person from the Health and Care Professions Council or any other register of professional staff (such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council);
  • A close family member living in the same household should not be selected to provide management and/or administrative support to the direct payment holder or nominated to be the authorised direct payment recipient where there is a risk that the direct payment may be abused, or there are other sensitivities such as potential safeguarding issues.

Click here to view South West Region: A Safeguarding and Personalisation Framework.