Payment by results

By: Elizabeth O'Hara  Published: April 2012

Research shows that 1.1 million people a year aged over 16 in England and Wales experience some form of civil legal housing problem. Some people are more likely to experience a housing problem than others. The number of people with housing problems is likely to increase in the medium term. This briefing explores one of the key issues facing the advice sector.


This briefing considers payment by results in relation to housing advice. Shelter supports an approach to commissioning which emphasises the beneficial outcomes of housing advice services. However, with payment by results, commissioners would need to identify appropriate outcomes at the commencement of a contract. Careful consideration must be given to the period over which outcomes are measured and whether proxy outcomes might be appropriate.  

Commissioners need to be aware that particularly vulnerable clients and particularly urgent problems are more likely to be associated with face to face than telephone services. Furthermore, research shows that there are significant differences in outcomes achieved by telephone and face to face advice. It is essential for commissioners to understand how choice of delivery channels relates to outcomes.


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