Direct payments in mental health services have come a long way in the last few years, but are personal budgets and the increasing prominence of social care in policy terms having detrimental effects on their success? While most people agree that direct payments are a good idea, in reality less than five per cent of those eligible to use community care services actually use them. Realising the government's intention of ‘prevention, early intervention, enablement, and high quality personally tailored services’ still has a way to go.
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