Take up of Direct Payments in Gwynedd was low, complicated by over 100 pages of policy guidance, an inflexible and inaccessible system, minimal autonomy for either recipients or the social workers who supported them, and a focus on financial compliance rather than effective outcomes. We decided to take a new approach, harnessing the expertise, energy and commitment of people who use services and their carers to help us improve the service. Our Direct Payments will now focus on personal outcomes – what matters to people, what helps them live a good life. Our systems and structures are being explicitly designed to support this relationship-based approach. We now have a Direct Payments scheme that allows people to design a care package that’s right for them; flexible, personal and easily adapted as circumstances change.