‘My Community E-Purse’ take-up is set to improve!

My Community E-Purse project (MyCeP), went live in Harrow for all new service users in September 2014, provides an online personal budget and support planning tool that enables the users to receive a personal budget and purchase services from hundreds of providers, all in one place using a PayPal electronic e-purse.
Like other councils, Harrow council offers Personal Budget to all those eligible for social care support from the council, including people with mental health needs.
The E-Purse users can buy services like shopping, domestic services, prescription collection, and sitting and sleep in services.
AnnW2“Harrow council has had a lot of interest in this model (project) and it is held up as an example of what can be achieved when focusing on the needs of the customer” said Cllr Anne Whitehead, adult and older people portfolio holder.
Since September 2014, there have been 716 users of MyCeP while there are an estimated 4000 potential users of the services and an estimated 8400 residential/nursing self-funders in Harrow. There are an estimated 24,000 unpaid carers as well.
A significant majority of the users since September 2014 are 65+ and 51.2% are from the Asian or Asian British background.
Kanti“The E-Purse initiative is good but more work is needed to reach out elderly, particularly the Asian elders, because of their limited computer literacy, access to the internet and online buying experience” said Kanti Nagda, a community leader who has been facilitating social care services from the long established Sangat Advice Centre in Harrow.
Things could improve as the assistant director Chris Greenway, head of safeguarding assurance & quality services adults social care, said that following the initial pilot phase, the E-Purse was introduced to all new community based clients and is gradually being rolled out to the existing community based clients.
“We are also developing the system to be able to broaden its appeal by offering all residential and nursing care clients a Personal Budget using MyCeP” Mr Greenway said. “We aim to introduce this functionality by April 2016” he added.
The project with 11 staff and costing £160,000, has saved £3m since the tool was introduced in 2012 as it reduces the need to generate invoices and pay the relevant supplier of the services.
The introduction of increased cap and raised threshold that determines whether a person is entitled to financial support will bring a significant new range of people into the local authority social care system, who previously planned and funded their care themselves.