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Direct payments and individual accounts

This driver has been archived

This driver has now been replaced by Personalisation of Care and Individual Budgets

The personalisation of services has led to an increase in the use of individual budgets. As part of the drive for personal empowerment and improved quality by creating choice, service users are given the money to purchase services from their choice of provider.  Direct Payments are part of a range of measures requiring citizens to act as active participants rather than passive recipients, and shifts power from the state to individuals.

What are the implications?

  • Less sustainability in funding streams, which has implications for planning.
  • Individuals are expected for first time to deal with choice and employing people; this poses particular risks for vulnerable people
  • A shift in accountability from a small number of funders to many individual service users
  • Competition between service providers; this may favour a wider range of organisations to provide services, including individual service providers
  • A change in relationship between service user and provider
  • The introduction of individual budgets to a new set of clients requires some bedding down time.  People may require extra support during this time.
  • Implications for administration, with a potential increase in level and complexity
  • Potential for empowerment of beneficiaries if properly conducted
  • Organisations that already provide strong support and empowerment to people may be most successful at delivering and supporting services related to individual budgets

Moving forward

As individuals begin to manage their own budgets, organisations that would normally hold large contracts for this work may find less sustainability in their funding.  How can your organisation plan for this?  Do you need to diversify your funding?

Beneficiaries face a potential risk related to a lack of experience in managing their own budgets.  How can you support people in this?

Having to be accountable to many individuals may require a change in your monitoring and reporting. Will you need to alter the ways you do this currently?

Having a wider range of service providers may mean increased competition to deliver services.  How can you ensure individuals use your services?  How can you support people to use the services that best suit their needs? 

Want to know more?

This driver is a stub and will be completed soon.  Here we will link to external documents and resources for further reading.



Last updated at 13:44 Thu 17/Feb/11.

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Third Sector Foresight

The new coalition government has confirmed its commitment to personalisation in health and social care.

Join the discussion!

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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