Disabled people trialling the Right to Control pilots found that there was no increase of choice or quality of life and found they were being undermined by inadequate support planning.
An evaluation has found that government pilots put in place to provide disabled people with personal budgets that integrate a number of funding streams has failed to deliver any actual benefit to those trialling it. The research failed to find any evidence that the Right to Control pilots had had any positive impact on disabled people, in terms of experiences in applying for and organising servicers, nor in their everyday lives.
Right to Control was designed to enable disabled people to pool resources from up to six funding streams – adult social care, Supporting People, Independent Living Fund, Disabled Facilities Grant, Work Choice and Access to Work – and exercise choice and control over how the combined budget was spent. It was tested in seven trailblazer areas: Barnet, Essex, Leicester, Manchester, Newham, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Barnsley, and parts of Surrey, starting in 2010 and running until December 2013.
The research was taken from the outcomes of 1,624 people in trailblazer areas with a comparison group of 1,658 disabled people in face-to-face interviews from late last year.
One of Right to Control’s main objectives was to improve choice and control however only 29% of clients in Right to Control areas said they had “as much control as they wanted” over their daily lives, compared to 31% in the comparison group.
A suggested reason for the lack of impact of Right to Control is that many users found they received the same service as they had done before.
It was also found that the quality of support planning “varied considerably” across the trailblazers, and many clients felt that they were limited in exploring alternatives sources of support.
Right to Control was said to be most effective when:
– Staff told disabled people clearly that they could make changes to their support.
– Disabled people received a meaningful choice of provision and information to help them make informed choices.
– Help was given to disabled people in arranging their support.
In its disability strategy published last month, the government said it was considering the evaluation findings and would announce whether it planned to roll out Right to Control in due course.