a) amend the Adult Social Care Charging Policy; and
b) delegate authority to the Corporate Director Adult Social Care and Health to take relevant actions, including keeping the policy updated as necessary and to implement it in line the statutory duties.
Reason for the decision:
This decision will be a completion of the changes in regard to the approach to Savings Credit Disregard. After completing changes to address the disparity for people who were overcharged, work has been carried out to prepare a proposal for those people currently being undercharged.
Engagement activities and a public consultation have been carried out, seeking peoples’ opinions on the proposed option, asking for any ways to reduce the impact and for any alternatives. Despite an extensive consultation, the response rate was very low, with a fairly even split of views and no viable alternatives were suggested.
It is proposed to only apply the changes for those people new to the service and forego the income due from people currently using the service. The impact of the current high cost of living is a factor in adopting this approach.
It is not possible to predict accurately how many new people accessing services in the future will be impacted by this change, due to the variable nature of the amount disregarded vs financial assessment calculations for each individual.
This decision seeks to formally amend the Adult Social Care Charging Policy to address the remaining undercharging of new people and to leave existing people as per the current policy.
How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026
The decision supports Priority 4 of Framing Kent’s Future to ensure that adults who draw on social care support lead the lives they want to live, by putting their needs at the heart of everything we do, whilst successfully innovating and responding to the challenges to social care funding.
Other options considered and discarded
1) Absorb the cost and continue charging less than the legislation states for all people we support - Not chosen due to it being too large a burden on the council’s finances.
2) Increase the charge to the level stated in the legislation for all people we support - Seen to be too big a risk to the people we currently support. If the council was to change the policy for current people we support, some may feel that that because of their other outgoings and financial commitments, they can no longer afford to pay for their care and may choose to end their care package.
3) Increase the charge for new people and incrementally raise the charge to the correct amount for current people over time- Seen to be impractical, costly and highly resource intensive.
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: 10/05/2023
Decision due: Not before 8th Jun 2023 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 03000 416159 Email: email@example.com Tel: 01622 221770.
The proposed decision was discussed at the Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee on 17 May 2023.
Financial implications: 4.1 The recommended option will cost the council approximately £215k per annum in income forgone based on the current number of people being undercharged. Whilst it is recognised that the impact on some service users will be an increase in their charge for services, in line with government guidance, and the amount foregone will reduce to nil over time, given the council's financial position and on-going budget pressures, this is a significant loss of income. A cost of £5k to make the necessary system changes has been identified.
Legal implications: Counsel have been approached at the appropriate points in this work for legal advice and support the approach.
Equalities implications: An Equality Impact Assessment has been completed in line with Kent County Council requirements and updated to include feedback from the public consultation. This policy change has been determined to have a medium impact on the people it would affect, and mitigations have been identified to reduce the impact. Data Protection implications: A Data Protection Impaction Assessment (DPIA) was not deemed necessary for this decision.