Tories seek action on direct payments

The Conservative Party is calling on the government to tackle the low take-up rate of direct payments.

The area is to be explored by a new group that will shape the party’s policies for the public sector.

Shadow health minister Andrew Lansley said the Conservatives approved of direct payments because they encouraged greater autonomy and the development of personalised care services in the public and voluntary sectors, but more needed to be done to ensure they were being used.

The policy group will be led by former Conservative health minister Stephen Dorrell.

Lansley said it would also address arrangements for the strategic commissioning of preventive services.

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