Direct payments for families to source their own domiciliary care packages should only be used when this is their informed and willing choice, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Patricia Logue has said.
She was speaking after the latest Health Trust figures showed a sharp increase in the number of direct payments being made.
He commented: “Between June and September this year in Belfast, the number jumped from 515 to 709 and in the Western Trust the number increased from 615 to 829 over a 12-month period and
“That in itself is not a bad thing but this option should only be pursued when it is through an informed and willing choice by the family concerned.
“There is a risk that families and carers struggling to get the care packages they need may feel pressurised into accepting direct payments and try to sort arrangements themselves.
“That should never be the case and the Trusts should ensure that steps are taken to ensure the most effective direct payments model is in place as part of the ongoing review into adult social care.