Wirral Personal Assistant Register, Personal Budgets & Direct Payments explained...

What is the difference between a personal health budget, a personal budget, an integrated personal budget and a direct payment?

A personal health budget is for your NHS healthcare and support needs -  A personal health budget is an amount of money to support your health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between you (or someone who represents you), and your local NHS team.

A personal budget is for your social care and support needs - A Personal Budget is the overall cost of the care and support services the local authority arranges or provides to meet your needs.

An integrated personal budget is for both your healthcare and support needs and social care needs.

A direct payment is one way of managing these budgets. It's when you get the money directly to buy the agreed care and support you need rather than the council/NHS arranging it for you.

Direct Payments can be a good way to be creative and flexible when arranging and managing your care, enabling you to buy the services you want to use rather than services being prescribed to you, giving you more independence, choice and control.

You may choose to receive your personal budget as a direct payment to employ a personal assistant.  If you’re employing someone directly, you will need to deal with tax, National Insurance and pension issues for them.

Personal Assistants

A personal assistant is someone you can employ using your direct payment to help you with a wide range of tasks at home, at work or when you are out and about. Some examples of the tasks a personal assistant can help you with include:

  • Personal care – such as getting dressed
  • Making meals
  • Taking medication
  • Tidying up
  • Helping with work or education
  • Using transport and getting about
  • Going out, such as shopping or taking part in social activities. 

A Personal Assistant does not need to have a nursing or social care background. It is up to the person who is going to employ them to decide who the right person is, and what sort of tasks they need to be able to do, and to train them to do these tasks.

Using your Direct Payment to employ a Personal Assistant

You (the direct payment recipient) will need to employ your own Personal Assistant/s directly so that you become the employer. This means you are responsible for:

  • Your Personal Assistant's pay, taxes, contract and pension
  • Arranging and paying for an up-to-date criminal record check. This is known as a DBS check in England and Wales, a Disclosure Scotland check in Scotland and Access NI in Northern Ireland
  • Arranging and paying for any training and supervision that your Personal Assistant needs.
  • Paying for any equipment and disposable items they need such as gloves and aprons for the delivery of personal care.

You can employ more than one personal assistant, for however many hours you choose, providing the amount within your direct payment will cover the cost. The person you employ as your Personal Assistant may be a relative or a friend, however, there are some rules about this. Please see here fore more information - rules. Also, the Skills for Care website has a toolkit to help you employ your own personal assistants. To help you we have some downloadable resources on this page too. 

How can WIRED help with employing a Personal Assistant?

WIRED can provide you with the following support to help you to employ a personal assistant;

  • Wirral Personal Assistant Register – Both Direct Payment employers and personal assistants can register for free and WIRED will match Direct Payment employers with Personal Assistants who meet their needs. If you are a Direct Payment /employer recipient looking to employ a personal assistant, to register for this free service please click the link below to register
  • Payroll Service – WIRED provide a specialist payroll service for Direct Payment recipients, covering all aspects of Personal Assistant pay, taxes and pension. For more information on this service please click here
  • Downloadable employment related resources for Direct Payment employers – These resources are available via the Wirral Personal Assistant Register, to access these resources you will need to register by clicking the link below

How can WIRED help people looking for Personal Assistant jobs in Wirral?

If you are looking for employment as a Personal Assistant please join the Wirral Personal Assistant Register that is managed by WIRED. The Wirral Personal Assistant Register collates the details of both Direct Payment employers with Personal Assistant job vacancies and individuals looking for Personal Assistant jobs. Direct Payment employers are then matched with candidates that meet their needs. If you are looking for a Personal Assistant job and wish to join the Wirral Personal Assistant register as a job seeker, please click the link below to register.

If you want to know more about this service please see the Frequently Asked Questions download on this page. If you still need to contact the Wirral Personal Assistant Register Administrator please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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