The number of users of Direct Payments (DPs) for community care – that is cash instead of care packages – has increased sharply in recent years reflecting a policy emphasis on‘personalisation’, but DPs are not, however, currently available for people in residential care. The Law Commission recommended in 2011 that DPs should be extended to people living in residential settings, providing equality of access to DPs between people living in their own homes and those in residential care. The Government announced in its 2012 Caring for our Future White Paper that it would pilot DPs for residential care. The Department of Health (DH) then invited local authorities to express interest to be pilot sites for DPs in residential care. Twenty local authorities were selected to pilot such DPs over a two-year period, of which 18 are participating in the scheme. The Government then decided to empower all local authorities to offer DPs for residential care from April 2016. As a result, the pilot sites have become ‘trailblazers’ for the national roll-out of DPs in residential care.
This report is the first from the independent evaluation of the ‘trailblazers’. It is based on a scoping study carried out over the summer and autumn of 2013 consisting of a literature review, documentary analysis, interviews (June-September), collation of routine data and collection of descriptive data from trailblazers on their schemes for DPs.