Council to revise charging policy for adults receiving social care

Two-thirds of the 4,800 adults in Oxfordshire who contribute towards the cost of their social care could be affected

Oxfordshire County Hall Photo: Copyright David Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Oxfordshire council is considering a new charging policy that could affect two-thirds of the 4,800 adults in the county who currently contribute to the cost of their care.

Plans include passing on the full cost of home care, ending joint financial assessments of couples and introducing an annual fee when the council both sources and manages the provision of care.

The council says the changes are a response to rising demand for adult social care in the county and will better align its offer to self-funding adults with the Care Act 2014.

The changes are expected to boost the council’s adult social care budget by an estimated £1.5 million a year, which it plans to spend on providing care to people with significant needs who do not contribute to the cost of their care.

Financial assessments

The council also says some of the changes will make the financial assessements more efficient and quicker.

The proposed changes, set out in a consultation that runs until 20 March, include:

– Using the actual cost of individuals’ home care to calculate their contribution rather than an average hourly rate of £19.40

– Reducing the initial charge for arranging care services while introducing an annual £210 charge for those who have their care sourced and managed by the council

– Ceasing to provide non-statutory services, such as telecare to people who do not have eligible needs, for free

– No longer offering couples the option of a joint financial assessment instead of an individual assessment

– Introducing a default disability expenditure allowance of 25% of disability benefit and no longer providing the allowance to people who do not get disability benefits. People will be able to request an individual assessment if they feel this means their allowance is too low.

Disability allowance

While some people will see increased charges as a result of the changes, the council’s impact assessment says that others will see their costs fall or remain the same.

Costs are expected to rise for an estimated 40% of the 3,500 people who have a disability expenditure allowance in their assessment.

Of the 243 people who have had joint financial assessments, the council predicts around 45% will be worse off following an individual assessment.

‘Fairer and more consistent’

A council spokesperson said the changes aim to “ensure a fairer and more consistent approach to assessing the financial contributions made by individuals towards the cost of the social care services they receive”.

Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the council intends to introduce the changes in September to allow time for financial re-assessments and to enable individuals to prepare for any changes to their contribution towards their care.

The changes will not affect the 2,000 people in Oxfordshire who do not contribute financially to the cost of their social care.

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2 Responses to Council to revise charging policy for adults receiving social care

  1. Sue Sharpe February 5, 2018 at 8:10 pm #

    as if £1300 a month to cover care costs is not enough!!!!

    • Bob February 6, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Stop blaming providers. People do not understand the system. The local athority do not provide enough to cover cost in some counties. The difference is made up in private fees. Its expensive to provide a service. To provide staff 24hrs a day. Managers who are responabile and committed. You will see in the NHS huge cost. Agency staff and failings. Just as you did in state provided care. People only do what they have to if they are not likely to lose their home, accountability. Smaller service providers can keep a tighter budget. The bigger the provider the more the admin, more managers. It’s no joke a tough sector. People dont or cant look after family it is very demanding but expect people to do it for nothing. Not for profit does cover when beds are empty, building and equipment need reparing. Insurance, reg fees.
      Do you lay off trained staff then when you are busy. Do ypu sell equipment that needs inspecting and servicing.

      Public will pay for an i phone or pay for football season ticket.. which generates profit, but not healthcare. How much do you think it cost to keep someone in hospital, 2.5k per week. Residential care saves tax payers money and its not mandatory, if you dont like a home others are available. So providers should provide better food etc.. than the state or lose private fees due to reputation.. people who haven’t ever worked get this for free. Heating, food.. and it’s probably better than they had while living on benefits.

      Private providers can not charge local athorities what they want. That is dictated via tenders by the LA. The provider cost go up each year.
      While the cost of a small care providers is nothing compared to referbishing a social housing block. Guess what, private companies do that to. As they do work for MOD. You can not run this country on thin air and without private investment. Look at businesses you use. Don’t confuse nursing care costs with residential or pfi with private providers. You don’t have to look much further than primary health care GPs. To see the scale of the investment and NHS does not mean NHS in that context. Seriously look at the cost of the NHS < which we need to keep. 6 or 8bn is nothing. Merging social care with NHS will just mean more beauracy and cost. It cost a fortune to change systems and it usually implies cuts. I think every person in britian benefits or not will have to pay maybe £1 per month toward health care. If you have children pay for them too until they can. It should not be means tested. Poor people in some cases use the service more. Need to stop people abusing it. And restrict services to those really needed. Private vs state is not the issue its scale and regulation is. Those who regulate these services are not there to make life easy. The bad ones you hear about are because the system works. Two have been shut down and police have sent two cares to jail. Another a manager… sounds bad right? Well they've been dealt with. Plenty of excellent providers. Mean while public officials are caught doing all sorts and never go to court.. Does not matter who you vote for.