Dimensions of Choice: A narrative review of cash-for-care schemes

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


  • H Arksey
  • A Peter


Publication details

DatePublished - 2008
Number of pages25
PublisherSocial Policy Research Unit
Place of PublicationUniversity of York, York
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-1-871713-57-2


This working paper presents the results of a narrative review of the international literature on 'cash-for-care' schemes whereby users purchase care rather than receive in-kind services. The paper looks at the primary research evidence in order to examine four questions that are of central importance to social care policy:
* what can be chosen,
* what are the barriers
* what are the facilitators to exercising choice,
* what are the outcomes of choice?
Based on the findings of the review, we present some 'preconditions for choice', that is, arrangements and facilities that need to be in place in order for cash-for-care users to be able to exercise effective choice over their care package. Finally, we identify some important methodological weaknesses in the evidence base on the outcomes of cash-for-care payments.

    Research areas

  • funding issues, social care services issues


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