The Department of Health has set up a £9m direct payments
development fund to finance partnerships between councils and the
voluntary sector, aimed at increasing take-up of the scheme.
The DoH will begin seeking bids from voluntary organisations in
partnership with councils for projects to support increased access
to the payments. Money from the fund will be provided over three
The move coincides with the enforcement of a mandatory duty on
councils to offer direct payments as an alternative to all existing
adult services provided by councils – one of many new policy
changes to come into force this week.