The question of how local authorities will manage fixed budgets for the Supporting People (SP) programme raises concerns among service users and providers. These concerns are compounded by the introduction of the new distribution formula that is intended eventually to even out spending across authorities; some people will see their slice of the cake grow, and for others their slice will be nibbled away.It is unfortunate, if perhaps inevitable, that the debate about SP has become mired with the issue of funding. Quality and continuous improvement have become confused with the determination of value for money. Commissioners and providers squabbling over funding streams have compromised the ideals of person‐centred services. But is it all too easy to focus on the difficulties within the programme? This article will examine the debate over eligibility for SP funding in the light of the wider aims of the programme. It will consider the implications for service users and providers and look at the broader influences on the climate of housing with care and support.
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