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Agenda Item No. 8

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE: 13 JUNE 2016

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:  23 MAY 2016

 

C3195              COMMUNITY CARE CHARGES FOR NON-RESIDENTIAL SERVICES 2016/17 (HSCH) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE - HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE) –

 

Approval was sought for the charges which would be levied in 2016/17 for non-residential community care services which the Council either provided directly or commissioned.

 

A charging policy for non-residential community care services had been in operation in the Vale of Glamorgan since 1993.  It was last reviewed in 2011. The Measure gave local authorities in Wales a discretionary power to impose a reasonable charge upon adult recipients of non-residential community care services.  Additionally, the Welsh Government was provided with authority to determine the maximum weekly charge any individual service user could be asked to pay, which was initially set at £50.00 per week and had risen incrementally to £60 per week.

 

Implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 required the Authority to review its charging policy for non-residential services to ensure its compliance with the Regulations and Charging Code of Practice issued under the Act 2014. This work was ongoing and a further report would be presented to Cabinet for approval of any revised policy.

 

Non-residential community care services were made available through a range of providers, including the Council.  Those clients who received their service from the independent sector were charged in accordance with the rate the provider charged the Council.  A review of the charges levied in 2011 highlighted that the users of Council-provided services were receiving their services at a subsidised rate.  In November 2011, it was agreed by Cabinet (Min. No. C1519) that the Council should move to full cost recovery for these services.  Acknowledging that this would have an adverse impact on some service users, the change was to be phased in over a three-year period.

 

A further review of charges in 2015 indicated that in many areas, an element of subsidy remained in place.  Unit costs for day services had been recalculated and these are shown in the table below.

 

Client Group

Current charge

per day

Unit cost

per day

Places

available

per week

Older People

£51

£58

125

Learning Disability

£64

£116

155

Physical Disability

£55

£55

125

 

The report proposed that the full unit cost was charged from 31 May, 2016.  Because of the £60 cap on charges for non-residential services, this change would not have any adverse financial impact upon any current day services users directly.

 

There were a small number of relatively low cost services for which the service-user paid for by means of a flat rate charge.  These included meals received at home or in day centres and Telecare services.  Service users were charged in addition to and separately from any charges that might be levied for other services.  In keeping with the decision to move to full cost recovery for services, it was proposed that the flat charge for the meals provided at day services settings or via the Meals on Wheels service be increased from £4.10 to £4.60 per meal from the 31 May, 2016.  The charge could be raised to £5.30 to cover the current actual costs. It was however recommended in consideration of the recipients and the Equality Impact Assessment that the price rise should be raised more gradually to help mitigate the financial impact upon individuals.

 

The charge levied for the basic TeleV package was £5.10 per week.  This service was available to all individuals in the Vale and it provided a relatively low level of support that enabled people to remain in the community without the need for additional social care support.  It was proposed that the charge for this service should be increased to a weekly rate of £5.15.  Additionally, it was proposed that the charge for the TeleV+ service be increased from £8.50 per week to £8.59 from 31 May, 2016.  Emergency Community Alarm cover for residents in Sheltered Housing (VCAS) operated slightly differently. The VCAS rented cost would increase from £4.12 per week to £4.17 and the VCAS owned cost from £60.98 per year to £70.58 per year.

 

At the meeting, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Social Care & Health noted that consideration of this report by the relevant Scrutiny Committee was also required as per the new Cabinet and Scrutiny Work Programmes, and the resolutions would be amended to reflect this.

 

The Director of Social Services commented that charging for Social Care was a very contentious issue that had never been resolved at a national government level. Therefore, the Council had to deal with rising demand and the requirement to finance a good range of quality care services, within the context of reduced resources overall. He continued that the Council always sought to adopt this Policy fairly and so a very thorough Equality Impact Assessment had been undertaken to ensure that service users would not be unduly affected by the proposed changes.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposed charges which will be levied for non-residential community care services as outlined in the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee Healthy Living and Social Care for consideration.

 

(2)       T H A T subject to resolution one above, the charges detailed in the report which will be levied in 2016/17 from 1 July, 2016 for non-residential community care services which the Council either provides directly or commissions, be approved.

 

Reasons for decisions

(1)       To enable the proposed charges which will be levied for non-residential community care services to be progressed following consideration by Cabinet and the relevant Scrutiny Committee.

 

(2)       To agree revised charges for non-residential community care services for financial year 2016/17 to take effect from 1 July, 2016.

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 23 MAY 2016

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