Abstracts: April 27th, 2005

This report summarises the project by the Department of Health and the Regulatory Impact Unit in the Cabinet Office which was aimed at reducing the bureaucracy associated with direct payments for the delivery of social care. Direct payments are designed to create flexibility in the provision of social services. Giving money in place of social care services so people have a greater choice over their lives and decisions about how care is delivered. Individuals who choose direct payments, include people with physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, HIV/AIDS mental health problems, older people and parents of disabled children.Direct payments for social work services have been developed in order that individuals can have a greater choice and control over their lives. Instead of providing services to individuals directly, payments are made from social work departments to individuals, who can then use them to purchase services and employ staff. Local councils now have a duty, not just a power, to make direct payments.

The project team consulted widely and identified areas where processes were considered burdensome and unnecessary. The report sets out a timetable for implementation of recommendations and an outline of the benefits expected.

The report is available at: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/documents/pst/pdf/dirpay.pdf