How long does it take to complete a direct payments review?

Just curious if anyone knows (not sure it’s clarified in any of the guidance**) how long it should take for a social worker to complete an annual review of someone’s direct payments?**

Is anyone experiencing delays in their reviews being completed? How long have you had to wait for the process to be completed if your needs haven’t changed?

I have a few friends locally who are receiving DP’s and a couple of them have been in the review process since the beginning of the year!! They have either been forced through multiple meetings which have resolved nothing (no change in need, so we can’t understand why meeting after meeting is necessary) or have been left hanging in the wind with radio silence from the council.

I remember not so long ago annual reviews were completed within about six to eight weeks. Lately, they seem to go on indefinitely, and I can’t understand why it now takes so long, especially if a person’s situation hasn’t improved any.

The last three reviews my brother has had have dragged on for eleven months or longer for no clear reason (no change in need/circumstances etc) and without any finalization. He never receives any paperwork from the council to update him on his budget or care plan either, he just eventually tries to relax and assume all is well with his care package after about eight months, then the next review comes around and the process drags on again.

I have a friend who’s been told by his social worker that she’ll be out to “complete” the review (fourth meeting with this particular social worker and again, no change to needs) but he’s been waiting almost a month now for her to send a date to come out and visit, which just seems ridiculous.

I know council’s are busy but I can’t help feeling opening review cases and leaving them in limbo for months at a time is ridiculous. Reviews are stressful for a lot of people, especially with so many cuts going on, seems very unfair to leave so many folks waiting and wondering.

Nothing on the Internet regarding " Waiting times " beyond what’s already been published under a couple of threads in the
NEWS section … main LA MELTDOWN thread springs to mind.

Suffice to say … staff shortages / lack of adequate finances … are both contributing towards the delays.

In poorer manors , several months have been reported with no sign of any immediate improvement.

In short , reviews are taking longer as each LA scrutinise all aspects in the vain hope of saving monies down the line.

( A few posters have reported their LAs trying to reclaim unspent monies dished out under the DP Scheme. )

A trawl through the LA and Social Care Ombudsman site for DIRECT PAYMENTS reveals some rather " Interesting " cases :