Dimensions of choice: a narrative review of cash-for-care schemes

Document type
Literature review
Arksey, Hilary; Kemp, Peter A
Date of publication
1 March 2008
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Disabled people, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This working paper presents the results of a narrative review of the international literature on ‘cash-for-care’ schemes whereby users purchase care rather than receive in-kind services. The paper looks at the primary research evidence in order to examine four questions that are of central importance to social care policy: what can be chosen, what are the barriers and what are the facilitators to exercising choice, and what are the outcomes of choice? Based on the findings of the review, we present some ‘preconditions for choice’, that is, arrangements and facilities that need to be in place in order for cash-for-care users to be able to exercise effective choice over their care package. Finally, we identify some important methodological weaknesses in the evidence base on the outcomes of cash-for-care payments

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