and structure





Methodological changes were therefore required for this report to account for this

change; unfortunately it was not possible to replicate this new methodology for nonresidential

services and as such the results are not directly comparable.

Skills for Care is confident, however, that the results are reliable and from 2011

onwards the trends are directly comparable.

Direct payment recipients

For this year‟s report Skills for Care estimated a trend of the proportion of direct payments

recipients (for people receiving a direct payment for their own care and support needs) that

were employing staff using two estimates, one from 2014 (42%) and another from 2008


Both these estimates came with a degree of uncertainty (although current estimates are

the most robust to date) and therefore the trend produced should not be treated as exact.

Skills for Care is confident that the findings of these two surveys together with anecdotal

evidence from sector experts that this decrease is „real‟, however the exact scale of this

decrease is estimated.

Also the trend line produced between these years should be treated with caution as

separate data were not available for these years. Skills for Care hypothesised that the

decrease was most likely to have happened in proportion with the increase in the total

number of direct payments recipients (i.e. that the majority of the change was likely to

have come from new direct payments recipients rather than existing recipients changing

from employing staff to not employing staff) although there is no firm evidence to confirm

this hypothesis.

The trend data for direct payment recipients were re-estimated in this year‟s report and

therefore figures do not matched previously published numbers. Skills for Care was able to

collected data from more local authorities this year (47 as opposed to 35 in 2013) and also

data quality issues were discovered with previously collected data. Some local authorities

had provided the percentage of „on-going direct payment recipients employing staff‟ rather

than the percentage of „all direct payment recipients employing staff. This data quality

issue caused some over-estimating in previous years and has been rectified

retrospectively in this report.

Improvements were also made to the methodology, whereby personal assistants

employed by people receiving a direct payment for their own care and support needs were

estimated separately to a relatively small number of those employed by carers who receive

direct payments and those personal assistants who were categorised as being „selfemployed‟.

In future Skills for Care plan to routinely collect this data in order to provide more accurate

and robust trends for this part of the sector.

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