44 charities to create and boost schemes encouraging people to take
up direct payments (cash in lieu of social services).
successful bids for the Direct Payments Development Fund. Working in
partnership with local councils, voluntary organisations over the
next 18 months will encourage people to exercise choice and control
through the use of direct payments. The partnerships are expected to
be up and running by 1 September 2004. The first round of successful
bids was announced in August 2003.
Projects from the first round have been promoting direct payments in
a number of innovative ways. For example:
Gateshead Crossroads are using 'social telephony' to get people into
networks to talk about direct payments and support each other. In
Salford, the Council for Voluntary Services are developing elected
user groups, trained to provide advocacy and support to their peers.
Equalities in Waltham Forest have employed outreach workers to go
into mosques, churches, hospitals, doctors surgeries and voluntary
organisations to talk to people from black and minority ethnic
communities about direct payments.
Direct payments are key in the government's commitment to promoting
independence and freedom of choice for those needing care and
support. By giving individuals money in lieu of social services
people have greater choice and control over their lives, and are able
to make their own decisions about how their care is delivered.
Dr Ladyman said: 'We are pleased to announce today the successful
bids to the second stage of the Direct Payments Development Fund.
This government has provided£9m over three years to enable voluntary
organisations in partnership with councils to actively establish
direct payments as an option for people across the country.
'We know that direct payments have made an enormous difference to
people's lives. For example, a woman in Hampshire has told us that
she had nearly been driven to distraction by 'carers' she had been
sent under her domiciliary care arrangements. She explained that she
needs a lot of intimate personal assistance, and had found it
difficult to allow 'carers' to provide that degree of personal care
and when it was different people nearly every time she found it
extremely upsetting. She now has a direct payment and employs a
personal assistant that she has known for a number of years. She now
says that she is alive again and feels in control of her life.
'It is stories like this that make me realise how valuable direct
payments are and how important it is for government to ensure that
people are able to exercise much more control and choice in their
1. Direct payments (cash in lieu of social services) for adults of
working age were introduced in April 1997, through the Community Care
(Direct Payments) Act 1996. They were extended to older disabled
people in 2000. Since April 2001 (Carers & Disabled Act 2000) direct
payments have been available to carers, parents of disabled children
and 16 and 17 year olds.
2. The Direct Payments Development Fund was announced in October
2002, to encourage investment in direct payments support services.
£9m over the next 3 financial years is being targeted at national,
regional and local voluntary organisations, in partnership with local
councils, to enable them to play a significant role in the
development and promotion of direct payments.
3. The Health and Social Care Act paved the way for a variety of
changes to the way in which direct payments schemes operate, and
regulations that came into force on 8 April 2003 put a duty on
councils to make direct payments to individuals who consent to and
are able to manage, with or without assistance.
4. The successful bids are available here.
5. For more information on direct payments please visit: