Indirect Payments


We are investigating the current practice of offering and administering direct payments for people who lack capacity.

From November 2009, a group of social care service users became entitled to receive direct payments for the first time – people who may lack capacity to consent. This new group of people includes those with learning disabilities and dementia.

Direct payments can be made to other people as well as the service carer - for example, a carer or trusted family member - on behalf of the person lacking capacity. These 'suitable persons' manage the direct payment account for the service user with their best interests at the centre of all decisions.

We want to find out how direct payments are being offered and managed by these groups of people:

  • practitioners who deal with direct payments through their work
  • people asked to help manage a direct payment budget
  • people with either dementia or a learning difficulty who use social services and have a direct payment set up.

We will interview and collect data from the three groups of people involved with direct payments in the coming months.