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Welcome to Thurrock DPSS provided by Purple

From June 1st 2024 Purple DPSS relauches in Thurrock supporting Service Users utilising a Personal Budget through a Direct Payment through the new Hertfordshire Direct Payment Support Service.


Purple has a long history of providing Direct Payment and Personal Health Budget support services across the UK and is delighted to continue working with Thurrock Council in delivering this service.


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Introduction to Direct Payments

Direct Payments are payments made to a disabled person (or a representative of their choosing) into a bank account or prepaid card. These payments are made in advance, usually every four weeks. They enable people to purchase and arrange their own support to meet their needs. The aim of direct payments is to give people more choice, greater flexibility and more control over the support they get.

People can use their direct payments to choose how to have their care provided. Many people choose a Personal Assistant (PA) as a solution to their care needs. Some choose to use a care agency.

Direct Payments can be made to people of all ages. For children and young people under 16, payments are made to an adult who has parental responsibility.

You can receive Direct Payments if:

  • You have been assessed as needing social care services to support you with daily living
  • You have a disability with social care needs
  • You consent to receiving a Direct Payment and either you or your representative can manage the payment

You can only receive a Direct Payment if Thurrock Council has assessed you as needing support to live independently.

During the assessment, they will determine:

  • The estimated cost of your required care, which correlates with your Direct Payment.
  • Whether you require financial assistance.

If you need care services and are found able to cover the full cost independently, then either:

  • Thurrock Council may still provide the services, charging you the full amount.
  • They can connect you with private care services for personalised support.

If you need care services but cannot afford the full cost independently, Thurrock Council will collaborate with you to determine a feasible contribution amount. They will then cover the remaining balance.

To learn more about eligibility please visit:

Needs Assessments

Needs assessments conducted by Thurrock Council involve a discussion between you and one of their trained care workers.

They aim to determine:

  • Your care and support needs.
  • How these needs impact your well-being.
  • Your preferences regarding your care.

This information assists Thurrock Council in assessing whether they can provide assistance.

You have the option to have someone accompany you for support during the assessment.

Depending on your needs, Thurrock Council may offer assistance or provide information and advice on local support options.

If they can assist you, Thurrock Council will develop a support plan and determine a Personal Budget outlining the anticipated cost of your support plan per week. This estimate may be subject to change as the plan progresses.

A financial assessment will also be conducted as part of the needs assessment process.

A financial assessment is a way of finding out whether you will be able to pay for the support you need, and whether we can offer help towards the cost.

Following a needs assessment, Thurrock Council will conduct a financial assessment. During this assessment, they’ll consider:

  • Your income
  • Your savings and other funds
  • Any property you own or may benefit from

It’s essential to note that Thurrock Council only covers the full cost of an individual’s care in rare and exceptional cases.

You may prefer to get support from a local community group as their services may be free or subsidised. 

Thurrock’s adult care and health web pages include many links to community groups and charities that provide care. You can also find out about help in the community from your local area coordinator.


View the community directory  to browse groups and activities in Thurrock:

For information on financial help, visit:  fairer charging – what you can afford.

A carer’s assessment conducted by Thurrock Council involves a conversation with the individual who provides care – they could be a partner, relative, or professional carer. During the assessment, Thurrock Council aims to understand how they can support the carer in maintaining their quality of life while caring for someone.

The assessment examines how caregiving affects the carer’s:

  • Physical, mental, and emotional well-being
  • Ability to continue providing care

All carers, regardless of the amount or type of care they provide, are entitled to an assessment.Similarly, it does not matter if the person they care for has had a needs assessment or is eligible for support from the council.

Upon mutual agreement, Thurrock Council can conduct assessments for both the individual and their carer simultaneously. Carers who share responsibilities, including those caring for children under 18, are each eligible for their own carer’s assessment.

There are two options to initiate arranging a needs assessment:


You can fill-in a self-assessment online to tell Thurrock council about yourself and your day-to-day living.

Click here to complete the online form if you would like Thurrock council to assess your situation and contact you with options.

Have Thurrock First arrange an assessment for you:

Call: 01375 511 000



Main opening hours are Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Read more about Thurrock First.

Local area coordinators (LACs) help vulnerable people find ways to make a better life. Based in towns and villages around Thurrock, they know the local people – those who need help, and those who can offer different types of help.

They don’t provide a formal social care or health service. Instead they ask people “what would make a good life for you?”, and help them find how best to lead that life in their local community.

Who can get help

Support is extended to adults aged 18 and over, including many who are elderly, who may be experiencing:

  • Feelings of isolation
  • Depression
  • Physical disabilities
  • Sensory impairments
  • Learning difficulties
  • Complex mental health issues

Vulnerable people can be introduced to their local area coordinator by:

  • their GP or health organisations
  • local community groups, or representatives such as councillors

Making connections

Local area coordinators want to help people avoid reaching a crisis in their life, or help them to recover if a crisis has already happened.

They know who to talk with, and how local community and care services work. This includes:

  • council services
  • health services
  • police and fire services
  • volunteer organisations
  • community groups

You can read more examples of help offered.

Get in touch

Contact your local area coordinator if you think that you, or a relative or neighbour, could benefit from their help.

Local Area Coordinators email:

For information about applying for Direct Payments

Call: 01375 511 000


Main opening hours are Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

Read more about Thurrock First.

Purple DPSS contact details

Paula Chapman and Lara Badmas –  Employment and Advice Officers :



Sam Bender – Account Manager:

Payroll query (employed PAs)

Invoice query (self-employed, agency)



To contact us by phone: Please dial the main line for Purple DPSS on

01245 392300 and follow the options to connect with our team for assistance.

If your call is unanswered, please leave a message. All missed calls are regularly monitored and returned as soon as possible.


Employment advice and guidance (EAG)

We offer independent information, advice and guidance to support you through the process of employing your own PA, assisting with:

  • Recruitment of a PA
  • Advertising
  • Payroll service information
  • Contracts of employment
  • DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) checks
  • Reference checks
  • Employers liability insurance
  • Budgeting
  • Support with completing auditing information


Contact our EAG team

Recruiting a Personal Assistant

  1. Submit your vacancy request here
  2. Vacancy sent to Purple Match Hertfordshire register

  3. PA’s on register submit interest

  4. Interested PA profiles sent directly to you

  5. Arrange interviews/meets directly with PA

  6. Additional secure PA information sent once job offer is made
    e.g., NI number, date of birth, gender, completed document checks.

Employed PA (PAYE)

  • The Employer (direct payment holder) provides a contract that details the terms and conditions of employment including PA benefits and disciplinary procedures.
  • The PA must perform their work personally and cannot send someone else to do this.
    The Employer (direct payment holder) self directs the support they wish to receive from the PA in line with their care and support plan.
  • The PA is paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance payments will be made on their behalf by the PA Employer.
  • The PA will receive statutory benefits, such as statutory sick pay.
    The Employer (direct payment holder) must enrol eligible PA’s into a pension scheme and provide holiday pay.
  • The Employer (direct payment holder) will take out Employers Liability Insurance which can be paid for from the direct payments.

Self Employed PA

  • Responsibility of the person receiving support to check self-employed status.
  • The self-employed PA and the person receiving support mutually agreeing terms & conditions and how support is provided – Purple can provide a template Contract for Services.
  • If determined not self-employed, then there may be financial liability (i.e. a Tax liability) for the person receiving support and the PA.
  • Self-employed PA’s will have own Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number from HMRCs.
  • There is an initial period, during which sole traders may not yet have a UTR number.
  • The PA is not entitled to sick or holiday pay which may mean the person receiving support can pay the PA a higher hourly rate.
  • Less administration as self-employed PA’s are responsible to pay their own Tax, NI, Pension and organise their own liability insurance. It’s advisable to ask for a copy this insurance.

Purple Match : Our PA recruitment service

  • Introducing “Purple Match” – our innovative service for connecting Direct Payment holders with suitable Personal Assistants
  • Access to register of Personal Assistants
  • Dedicated recruitment team assistance in finding ideal match
  • Collaborative approach to understanding the unique requirements of a role
  • Help in creating compelling job advertisements on “Purple Match” job board
Learn more about Purple Match

Are you a Thurrock Practitoner?

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