Evaluation of direct payments in residential care trailblazers: final report

Document type
Ettelt, Stefanie; Wittenberg, Raphael; Williams, Lorraine;
Policy Innovation Research Unit
Date of publication
3 April 2017
Health Services, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

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In 2012, the Department of Health (DH) decided to test the extension of direct payments from community care to residential care. It invited councils to express interest in becoming pilot sites for direct payments in residential care and selected twenty pilot sites.

In late 2013, DH commissioned the Policy Innovation Research Unit (PIRU) to conduct an independent evaluation of the pilots, now called ‘trailblazers’. This followed a scoping study conducted by PIRU in 2013.

The objectives of the evaluation were:

  • To understand the different ways in which direct payments were being offered to residents of care homes and to examine the challenges arising from implementing direct payments for service users, carers, care home providers, and councils and their staff in trailblazer sites (process evaluation).
  • To assess the impacts of direct payments in residential care on service users and their families, care home providers and the provider market, and councils and their staff (impact evaluation).
  • To examine, as far as possible, the relative costs and cost-effectiveness of different approaches to providing direct payments in residential care, for both service users and their families and local councils (economic evaluation).

This is the fourth and final report from the independent evaluation of the trailblazers.

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