The government has delayed the planned proposal of direct payments for long-term residential care until 2020.
The Department of Health had intended to introduce the policy this year under the Care Act 2014, following a pilot in 17 local authorities, however, has now decided to delay its implementation.
According to the local government Association website the Department of Health (DH) has written to all trailblazer sites to confirm that a decision has been made to postpone the national rollout of direct payments in residential care until 2020.
The independent evaluation by the Policy and Research Unit (PIRU) will continue as planned, with publication of the final report expected in autumn 2016.
The Department has committed to ensuring that anyone who is currently getting a direct payment in residential care will continue to receive this, unless they request otherwise. Trailblazer sites have been offered the option of maintaining the current position between now and 2020 so that they can continue to meet an adults needs for long term residential care by making a direct payment, or to stop offering Direct Payments in residential Care until 2020. Trailblazers have been asked to contact DH to confirm their decision to continue or discontinue offering Direct Payments in Residential Care and DH will amend the regulations (secondary legislation) accordingly.
The Department is committed to ensuring the knowledge, experience and lessons learned from the trailblazers is captured both to support the rollout in 2020 and inform further policy development about how personalisation in residential care can be delivered at scale. The Department has asked SCIE to work with trailblazers to capture learning from the trailblazer project and is also working with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) partnership to design and implement a new programme of work to find, develop and share good practise in residential care.