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Using vouchers to increase access to short breaks: findings of pilot study Falkirk Council

This pilot project was set up by Falkirk Council to determine whether the use of vouchers for short breaks could help to address the low uptake of short breaks among people with severe and enduring mental illness and their carers, and also to provide an alternative to Direct Payments. The project was developed in response to:

• the low numbers of short breaks being accessed by this group
• discussions with the Integrated Mental Health Team
• previous discussion with the FDAMH Carers Group
• information contained in the research report carried out by the FDAMH Carers Group (September 2005)
• the apparent reluctance of people with mental health needs to access direct payments

Margaret Petherbridge, Policy and Development Officer, Falkirk Council
Falkirk Council