Payment cards as a means of managing a personal budget

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This paper offers recommendations to support Care Act statutory guidance in relation to  personal budgets and the use of payment cards in social care. 

It follows research undertaken by In Control and the Independent Living Strategy Group, and was commissioned by Think Local Act Personal. 

The research identified significant variation in the way payment cards were being used across the country, with many examples of good and poor practice described.

This paper and accompanying recommendations are designed to support best practice and ensure greater consistency in the use of payment cards nationally.

It is hoped that local authorities will use the recommendations in this paper to review their current practice or inform decisions about adopting a new card scheme. The recommendations are also intended to allow people who are being offered a personal budget to assess the card scheme their local authority is offering. If followed, they also provide card providers with guidance that ensures payment cards develop into a positive technology that supports personalisation and that balances the need for probity with the right of individual privacy.