This paper reviews how social care contracting in learning disability services has developed in the UK, making use of experience in Berkshire. The monitoring of block contracts for residential care is explored from the perspectives of the keyworker in the home and the purchaser who is monitoring the contract. An action research approach was used to develop monitoring and change subsequent practice in contracting. Particular areas identified as needing improvement were staff induction and training, care planning and review, meeting health needs, and building the setting and measuring of individual service outcomes into all areas of practice, especially provider internal quality‐assurance. The limited role of the service user in the process is highlighted.
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