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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 18th March, 2013

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services

 

Community Care Charges for Non-Residential Services

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek Cabinet approval for the charges which will be levied in 2013/14 for non-residential community care services which the Council either provides directly or commissions.

Recommendations

That Cabinet:

 

1.             Approves the charges which will be levied in 2013/14 for non-residential community care services which the Council either provides directly or commissions.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To agree revised charges for 2013/2014.

Background

2.             A charging policy for non-residential community care services has been in operation in the Vale of Glamorgan since 1993.  It was last reviewed in 2011.  In part, this was done to ensure compliance with the Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure 2010, Regulations and Guidance which became effective in April 2011.  The Measure gives 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 charge any service user could be asked to pay.  As Members will be aware, the First Steps to Improvement requirements then imposed a maximum total weekly charge of £50 that can be levied by the Council on any individual service user.  There is no indication that the Welsh Government will change this sum in 2013/14.

3.             The policy applies to all non-residential community care services, either provided directly or commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  The charge is designed to be fair and reasonable.  In appropriate circumstances, service users are asked to make a weekly contribution towards the costs of the following services: home care, day services and supported living accommodation.  As required by Regulations, no service user is asked to pay more than the maximum total weekly charge of £50.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             Non-residential community care services are made available currently through a range of providers, including the Council.  Those clients who receive their service from the independent sector are charged in accordance with the hourly rate the provider charges 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.

5.             The revised unit costs for day services have been calculated and these are shown in the table below.

 

Client Group

Places

available

per week

Current charge

per day

Unit cost

per day

Older People

150

£38

£51

Learning Disability

320

£47

£64

Physical Disability

125

£47

£55

 

6.             It is proposed that the unit cost is charged from April 2013.  Because of the £50 cap on charges for non residential services, this change will not have any adverse financial impact upon day services users with a learning disability or physical disability.  

7.             Many of those who use the older people day service at Rondel House either attend more than once a week or also have access to other support.  Consequently, their overall care packages already cost more than £50 per week and the cap is in operation for them.  For this reason, the proposed increase in charges will not have an adverse financial impact for them.  There are only six service users who attend the service only once a week and for whom there will be some impact.  Of this number, three service users receive free services; two are self-funding and so will pay the unit cost up to a maximum of £50 per week.  The other service user will be given a financially assessment and asked to contribute to the cost of their care.  The level of that contribution will be £50 per week or their assessed charge, whichever is the lower figure. 

8.             The Council directly provides some long-term domiciliary support and a reablement service for people who are assessed as being able to benefit from this type of intervention.  The people receiving either of these services are charged the average cost of the domiciliary service provided by the independent sector; this is £12.50 per hour in the current financial year.  It is proposed that there is no change in this figure for 2013/14.

9.             There are a small number of services for which no charge is levied and these are detailed in the national policy.  For relatively low cost services, a flat rate is charged.  These include meals received at home or in day services and Telecare services.  Service users are charged in addition to and separately from any charges that may be levied for other services.  In keeping with the decision to move to full cost recovery for services, it is proposed that the flat charge for the meals provided at day services settings or via the Meals on Wheels service is increased from £2.50 to £3.30 per meal in April 2013.  The charge will be increased again in 2014/15 to cover actual costs, currently £4.10.

10.        The charge levied for the basic TeleV package is currently £4.50 per week.  This service is available to all individuals in the Vale and it provides a relatively low level of support that enables people to remain in the community without the need of support from social services.  It is proposed that the charge for this service should be increased to a weekly rate of £4.75 from April 2013 and from April 2014 to cover the actual cost, currently £5.00.  Additionally, it is proposed that the charge for the TeleV+ service is increased from £7.50 per week to £7.90 from April 2013 and from April 2014 to cover the actual cost, currently £8.30.

11.        The move towards full cost recovery for in-house service has been linked with renewed efforts to ensure that these services are managed and operated as efficiently as possible.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.        Social Services continue to work within a very challenging financial climate, with reductions in the resources available and increasing demand.  The Social Services Budget Programme Board monitors progress against required savings targets and provides regular reports to Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet.  As part of the actions identified within the budget programme, the Directorate undertook to review the level of income received by the service. 

13.        The introduction of the maximum charge by the Welsh Government means that no service user funded by the Council will be required to pay more than £50 a week for the non-residential social care services they receive.  For this reason, it is difficult to calculate the additional income that will accrue to the Council from increasing day care charges.  The increased income in relation to meals on wheels and Telecare is estimated to be £30,000 per year.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.        There are no sustainability or climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.        Section 17 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudications Act 1983 (HASSASSA) gave local authorities discretion to charge for non-residential social care services. 

16.        As of 11th April 2011, the Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure 2010 replaced HASASASSA in Wales.  Under the Measure, local authorities retain the discretion to charge should they wish but they are required to ensure that they do so in accordance with the requirements of the Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure 2010, Regulations and Statutory Guidance.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no crime and disorder implications as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        The charging policy is applied to all client groups that are able to access non-residential community care services.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        Social services meet the following corporate objectives:

·               "To make the Vale a safe, healthy and enjoyable place in which individuals, children and families can live their lives to the full"; and

·               "To manage the Council's workforce, money and assets efficiently and effectively in order to maximise its ability to achieve its service aims".

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        There are no consultation issues as a direct result of this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Social Care and Health

Background Papers

Social Care Charges (Wales) Measure 2010, Regulations and Guidance

Cabinet Report: Community Care Charges for Non-Residential Services, 16th November 2011

 

Contact Officer

Carys Lord, Head of Business Management and Innovation

 

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

 

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

 

 

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