Press release

Disabled people get right to control services

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today sees the start of a radical shake-up of the way disabled people use state funding, allowing them to buy their own support services.

Today sees the start of a radical shake-up of the way disabled people use state funding, allowing them to buy their own support services or equipment through the Right to Control.

For the first time, disabled people in the Trailblazer areas can combine money from different state funding streams, for example as a cash payment, to be spent on whatever they think most appropriate for their needs. This will allow a more personalised service, joining up housing, employment and community care.

There will be advice to help people choose services and decide how to spend their money, or if people are happy with the support they currently receive, they won’t have to change anything.

Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller, said:

This is about increasing personalisation and putting disabled people in charge of their own decision making - instead of telling them what they can and can’t spend their money on.

Disabled people should have the same choices and opportunities as everyone else and I am convinced that this will help to deliver the greater independence that disabled people tell me they want.

I need to make it clear that Right to Control does not change eligibility for these services, but means that disabled people can use their funding more flexibly.

For example, someone with a learning disability may get help from Supporting People to learn skills like cooking and budgeting. They may also get support from Work Choice, which helps people find a job. They could choose to combine their support by paying for a local college course, where they learn life skills and job skills.

Trailblazers, partnerships between local authorities, Jobcentre Plus and disabled people’s organisations will work with disabled people to develop individual support plans. Each plan will make effective use of all the funding available to an individual, to meet their goals.

In total, Trailblazers received £7m to make the changes necessary to deliver the Right to Control and to identify the best way to deliver the new service.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The support services included in the Right to Control Trailblazers are:
    • Access to Work
    • Work Choice
    • Independent Living Fund
    • Non-statutory housing related support (also known as Supporting People)
    • Disabled Facilities Grant and
    • aligned with Adult Community Care
  2. Disabled people taking part in the Right to Control Trailblazers will be able to choose to:
    • continue with their existing services if they are happy with them
    • let a public body arrange for a different support service or equipment;
    • take a direct cash payment and buy services or equipment and support themselves; or
    • have a combination of these.
  3. Five Trailblazers are launching on 13 December:
    • Essex County Council
    • Leicester City Council
    • London Borough of Barnet
    • London Borough of Newham
    • Part of Surrey County Council (the 2 parts are Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council).
  4. Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council will start on 1 March 2011. Greater Manchester (including Manchester City Council, Oldham Council, Bury Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and Trafford Council) will start on 1 April 2011.
  5. Disabled people in the above Trailblazers will have a legal right to:
    • Be told the monetary value of the services available to them;
    • Have choice and control over how this funding is used to meet agreed goals;
    • Be entitled to receive direct payments or to have services commissioned on their behalf, or to have a mixture of both
  6. The Right to Control has been developed in partnership with disabled people and their organisations, through the Right to Control Advisory Group, chaired by Baroness Jane Campbell. Government departments and service providers are also members of this group.
  7. The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has led the development of this policy. ODI is a cross-government organisation that is working towards equality for disabled people. Its website is http://www.odi.gov.uk