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Devolving direct payments: A review of policy development in the UK

Debbie Jolly, Centre for Disability Studies, University of Leeds
Co-author(s): Charlotte Pearson, Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research, University of Glasgow

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This paper presents initial findings from a two-year study on the implementation of direct payments across the UK currently being undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Whilst the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 permitted local authorities to access payments to disabled people from April 1997, the impact of these changes has been highly variable in different parts of the UK. Overall, this has seen a concentration of users in areas of the south of England and limited access in other areas, notably in many parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland. By outlining the background to policy development in each of the four locations, discussion explores some of the reasons behind this pattern and in particular examines the role of disability activism and local political cultures in facilitating access.

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