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£4.5M ALLOCATED FOR CASH IN LIEU OF SOCIAL SERVICES

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Health minister Stephen Ladyman today allocated funding of£4.5m ...
Health minister Stephen Ladyman today allocated funding of£4.5m

44 charities to create and boost schemes encouraging people to take

up direct payments (cash in lieu of social services).

This announcement marks the completion of the second round of

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

lives. '

Notes:

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:

www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/OrganisationPolicy/FinanceAndPlanning/DirectPayments

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