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In a surprising move, the UK government will not roll out a scheme to provide disabled people with integrated personal budgets after an evaluation found no evidence of improved outcomes.

Incoming minister for disabled people Mark Harper announced the decision not to roll out the Right to Control scheme in a written statement to Parliament last week.

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 from 2010-2013.

An evaluation published last year found outcomes for people using Right to Control, in relation to choice and control and wellbeing, were similar to people in a control group who were not using the scheme, meaning there was no evidence of positive impact.

The main suggested reasons for the lack of impact was that, in practice, Right to Control did not work as intended, and many service users received the same service they would have done before. 

“While the evaluation of this pilot may not have resulted in any measurable impact on outcomes, it was popular with those individuals who exercised their right to control and they valued the greater flexibilities it gave them. It also acted as a catalyst to developing local relationships and partnerships,” the minister said.

Read a longer article in Community Care