Reason(s) for decision:
It has been identified, in response to a complaint, that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) may have issued statutory guidance that conflicts with primary legislation in relation to this issue, albeit this appears to have been subsequently clarified by DHSC. The Authority has been applying the statutory guidance and not the relevant legislation. Kent County Council’s Adult Social Care Charging Policy for homecare and other non-residential services must comply with the primary legislation and it is therefore necessary to fully review and update the Adult Social Care Charging Policy to bring it in line with the primary legislation.
The annual cost to the Authority is estimated to be £280k, resulting from lost income from those people who have not had the disregard correctly applied. The cost of £280k in 2022-23 would be reported in budget monitoring and would not necessitate a substantive amendment to the budget. As part of the necessary financial arrangements required to implement this policy, as noted in the decision, the Authority will recommend making an appropriate financial provision for any prior year costs that may arise from the policy change. This will be presented along with other provision requirements to Cabinet in June 2022 as part of the Revenue Outturn report. Subject to further formal governance processes, including appropriate consultation and relevant Executive Decision making, there is scope for the Policy application to be amended to address undercharging and bring all charges in line with the legislation and correct policy approach. This would involve an increase in the charging for some people and therefore could result in an estimated £290k per annum income from year 2023/24 – this sum excludes any effects of increasing debt which may arise should the relevant policy changes be given effect in future. These arrangements would all be subject to future activity and do not impact on the current decision but are highlighted for context and to indicate future financial considerations for longer term management of this issue.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 11/05/2022
Decision due: Not before 9th Jun 2022 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Lead director: Richard Smith
Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing
Contact: Michelle Goldsmith, Finance Business Partner - Adult Social Care and Health Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01622 221770.
The proposed decision was discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee on 18 May 2022 and the recommendations were endorsed.
Financial implications: Please see above.
Legal implications: Counsel confirmed that the authority should be operating its policy for homecare and other non-residential services in line with the Care and Support (Charging Assessment Resource) Regulations 2014 and not the statutory guidance. The Authority needs to address any error in how savings credit disregard has been applied to our service users and correct its charging policy accordingly. Any changes to charge people more will require further governance processes, including consultation activity to understand the impact of this change on our service users. On that basis, this decision does not seek to determine the application of the policy to those who may be charged more as a result. Any such arrangements may be addressed as part of a separate Key Decision which could be taken following the relevant consultation and engagement activity later in the year subject to ongoing review of the policy and the Council’s financial position.
Equalities implications: A screening document has been completed and a full Equality Impact Assessment will be completed.in line with the KCC requirements. And will remain under continuous review throughout any consultation and decision process. A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) has been completed and it will be subject to the usual information governance review. No data protection implications are expected to be noted or highlighted. Further updates will be completed, in line with process, prior to the proposed consultation.