Have your say on proposed changes to charges for non-residential adult social care
Given the county council's current financial position, we are considering whether to revise the way we charge for non-residential care services for those people who can afford to contribute towards the care they receive.
Lancashire County Council last reviewed the way we may charge for non-residential care services in 2011, some six years ago. Since that time costs have risen more than 14%. Revising the charging policy for all non-residential care services will help to make sure the county council can cover the costs of providing them in the future.
Non-residential care services support people with disabilities and elderly people to live as independently as possible in their community. These services include: home care, outreach services, day care, direct payment and personal budget services, supported living, and the Shared Lives Scheme. We need to consider changing the way we charge for these services so we can continue to provide them in the future.
Although some social care services are provided free (including assessments, support planning, information and advice, reablement services and community equipment) people with eligible care and support needs are sometimes asked to pay something towards the social care services they receive in the community.
An eight-week consultation started on 15 December 2017 and closes 8 February 2018. Once completed, the results of the consultation will be considered before any new policy is introduced.
Who is affected by the changes?
In line with legislation and with the current policy, people will only be charged for non-residential care according to their assessed ability to pay. Currently over 51% of people receiving non-residential adult care services are either assessed as not having to pay, are funded by the NHS or are exempt under the Mental Health Act.
The proposed charging policy calculates how much people may need to pay towards their non-residential care based on a comprehensive financial assessment. Inevitably some people would have to pay more, but most people would not see a significant increase in care costs.
Under the proposals, as with our current policy, people would only be charged according to their ability to pay for their non-residential care. Currently more than 51% of people receiving non-residential adult care services do not have to pay. Under the proposed new system, only 8% of the 5,694 people using the services would see an increase in care charges of more than £20 per week. For more than 4,000 people, this increase would be less than £10 a week.
The county council recognises that the proposed changes may have a significant impact on some individuals and will always provide a free check to ensure people are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to. This will continue under the revised scheme.
Most councils across the country who have responsibility for social care have already introduced charges similar to the ones we're proposing following the introduction of the Care Act in 2014.
Have your say
All those who receive non-residential care and support services from the county council will receive a letter informing them of the consultation and explaining how they can take part.
As well as consulting people who use the services, the county council will also be considering the views of others, including carers or family members, statutory agencies and voluntary and private sector organisations. Their views will be considered through a separate consultation on the county council's website.
Anyone wanting to share their views should visit the county council's consultation page.
To read the full cabinet report click here