Being in charge of your own care can be a liberating experience. But sometimes you may need to know that there is support available anytime you need it from other people who are sharing the same experiences. That's where the Direct Payment Forum comes in. The following is an article from John Kelly, a direct payment customer in Merton and regular contributor to the forum:
“When you first start using direct payments it can be a bit daunting. Some of us have never had this kind of opportunity to have real control over our lives and to make the right choices, so having somewhere to chat, share concerns and listen to how others make direct payments work for them is really valuable.
The Direct Payments Forum is exactly that. It’s an informal get together of people who receive direct payments. We meet regularly and set our own agenda based on what people want to talk about.
Usually there are questions from direct payment users about things we might not understand, or even ‘I’m having this problem... has anyone got any ideas?’ (over a nice cup of tea of course!) Often there are others who have experienced the same thing and found a solution that may help.
There is often lots going on around us, and at the forum we get to hear and have a say about the things affecting our direct payment experience. We also hear about different initiatives and get up to date information about what is going on. This is our place to have a say about what is going on and what we would like to see with direct payments. For example, we have had a direct input into the User Guide and the promotional leaflets.
In the second part of each session the Direct Payment Team from Merton Council join us to discuss things and answer our questions. This is a really helpful part of the forum as you get to know the team.
It’s a really supportive group that can really make a difference. It did for me and I hope you will join us too.”
DP forum minutes
All the DP Forum meetings are held at the All Saints Centre in Wimbledon.
Direct Payments Team
Morden Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3632