This high-impact change sets out to put service users at the centre of service design and delivery, to give people control over their care, and to provide the framework in which people can direct their own support.


Personalise services by creating a new system that enables people to gain information and take control of their allocated resources. Build on existing direct payments schemes that have paved the way by shifting thinking and changing the culture in organisations.


Services that have demonstrated significant improvements in confidence, morale and physical functioning have attributed these to maximising choice and control for people who use services.


Choice and control

Case study

In Control, an independent charity working with more than 20 partners, has created a new system that allows people to gain information and control of their allocated resources and plan how to use these resourcesto meet their needs. The system is called self-directed support and is designed for local authorities to use.

There are seven steps in the self-directed support process:

  • service users are allocated an individual budget on the basis of a validated self-assessment;

  • they develop their own support plan;

  • the support plan is agreed with the local authority;

  • service users control their budget in the way that suits them best;

  • they can use traditional services or flexible and community support;

  • they can set their own outcomes and control how they meet them;

  • the local authority continues to review the situation.

In Control now works with 106 local authorities, which are are in various stages of developing their local systems. Findings from 2003-05 demonstrated that:

  • The number of people satisfied with their support increased from 42 per cent before In Control to 97 per cent after gaining control over their support.

  • Those satisfied with their plans and the direction of their life increased from 61 per cent before involvement to 90 per cent when they had control over their support.