PCG's Virtual Wallet current manages approximately £7 million of social care direct payments per month.
Virtual Wallet is an innovative software and a managed service solution developed by PCG to support local authorities and CCGs to deliver direct payments and Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) more effectively and efficiently.
With Virtual Wallet, PCG holds the funds on behalf of direct payment or PHB recipients in a client bank account. Either the recipients themselves, the local authority / CCG, or an appointed third party, then have access to a ‘virtual’ budget so they can choose, order and commission care and support as required, with PCG processing all payments. The software provided enables robust financial monitoring and complete transparency for all parties on budget spend. It also enables individuals to continue to have choice and control over commissioned care, without the hassle of having to make payments themselves.
Why not watch our brief overview of how the Virtual Wallet works?
There are two distinct models for Virtual Wallet, delivering a simple solution for personalisation from small one-off grants through to full personal budgets.
Virtual Wallet Lite is suitable for one-off payments such as short breaks and carer grants and can be used alongside our online self-serve assessment or application functionality to further streamline internal processes and resource.
Virtual Wallet Plus is suitable for full personal budgets – for adult social care and health and can be used to support all types of care packages including complex care plans that combine live-in support with agency support, personal assistants, payroll, insurance and workplace pensions and client contributions or top-ups.
Benefits of Virtual Wallet
Full audit trail - detailed transactions including what has been spent, with who, and funds are due.
Low admin and low cost delivery model
Protection from debt - the system prevents overspend and will alert the local authority if a provider increases their rates
Market visibility – individuals can easily see range of provision and make an informed choice
No paperwork – individuals no longer need to collect receipts and send in returns
Automated clawback for underspend
Regular and reliable payments for providers – an easy process for all involved and significantly reduces care management workload by not having to deal with debt issues
Safe and secure – tried and tested system built for managing care services
“Virtual Wallet provides simplicity, standardisation, transparency, user empowerment, social worker oversight, provider accountability, provider transaction benefits – and council assurance. It’s a win-win all round." Dan Hussey, Digital Business Manager for Adult Social Care at Buckinghamshire County Council.
Virtual Wallet is a highly flexible and configurable solution, demonstrated by the fact that it is being used in a number of areas in a variety of different ways. This includes delivery of direct payments, Individual Service Funds (ISFs) and personal grants for Short Breaks in children’s services. PCG is also working with welfare to work specialists Kennedy Scott supporting the first pilot of its kind where people seeking employment are given a virtual personal budget to help support them to gain employment.