Agenda Item No 17

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 July, 2018

Report of the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure

Charging for Care and Support Services under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Purpose of the Report

  1. To advise Cabinet of the updates to the Council's Charging Policy for care and support services required under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
  2. To seek endorsement of the updated charging policy (Appendix1).

Recommendations

It is recommended that Cabinet:

  1. Notes the updates to the current Charging Policy for care and support services required to ensure continued compliance with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
  2. Approves the updated Charging Policy for care and support services, to be implemented from the 2018/19 financial year.
  3. Give delegated authority to the Director of Social Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Leisure, to update the policy in relation to benefits levels on an annual basis.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To ensure that Cabinet members are informed about further changes to the Charging Policy as a consequence of annual changes to UK Government and Welsh Government allowances; and
  2. To ensure that the Vale of Glamorgan Council is compliant with the requirements for charging under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.
  3. To update the policy in relation to benefits levels on an annual basis.

Background

  1. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 introduced changes to the way in which local authorities should carry our financial assessments for those people in need of care and support services.  The original Charging Policy was agreed by Cabinet on 20th March 2017.  The Charging Policy applies to both residential and non-residential services.
  2. The principles which underpin the charging and financial assessment framework are set out in statutory guidance as follows:
      • ensure that people are not charged more than it is reasonably practicable for them to pay;
      • not charge people more than the cost to the authority of providing or arranging the care and support they are receiving (or which they are to obtain themselves through Direct Payments);
      • be consistent, to remove variation in the way people are financially assessed;
      • be clear and transparent, so people know what they will be charged;
      • promote well-being outcomes, social inclusion and support the vision of independence, voice and control;
      • support carers to look after their own health and well-being, and to care effectively and safely;
      • be person-focused, reflecting the variety of care and caring situations and the variety of options available to help meet people's needs and well-being outcomes;
      • apply charging equally so those with similar needs for care and support are treated in the same way and minimise anomalies between charging for different types of care and support;
      • encourage and enable those who wish to stay in or take up employment, education or training, or plan for the future costs of meeting their needs, to do so; and
      • be sustainable for local authorities in the long term.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Charging Policy (Appendix 1) has been updated to reflect the changes made to social security benefit payments and maximum charging for care, as set by UK and Welsh Governments each year.
  2. The Charging Policy has been updated following announcement of the uprating of the Social Security Benefits with effect from April 2018. The Community Care Finance Team has already used the appropriate increased rates when communicating with citizens.
  3. The maximum amount that can be charged on a weekly basis for people receiving non-residential care has increased to £80.00.
  4. From April 2018, the capital limit in relation to charging for care home increased to £40,000 whilst for care in a person's home, the capital limit is £24,000.
  5. The Council must allow a person to keep part of their weekly income to spend as they wish on personal items where they receive care in a care home.  This is known as the Minimum Income Amount and was set at £28.50 from 1st April 2018.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no further financial implications from this report as it seeks permission to update a Charging Policy that is already compliant with legislation and was approved by Cabinet on 20th March 2017.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There is no sustainability or climate change implications arising directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (s61) provides for regulations to set out the details of how charging arrangements are operated. The Local Authority must follow the regulations when undertaking financial assessments and determining any charges (Guidance paragraph 5.1) and when exercising its other function in relation to charging.
  2. The relevant regulations are:
      • The Care and Support (Financial Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
      • The Care and Support (Charging) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
      • The Care and Support (Choice of Accommodation) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
      • The Care and Support (Deferred Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
      • The Care and Support (Review of Charging Decisions and Determinations) (Wales) Regulations 2015.
  1. A Code of Practice (Part 4/5 Charging and Financial Assessment), referred to as 'Guidance' also supports the Regulations.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) has not been completed in relation to the changes to the Charging Policy because no discretionary aspects have been included at this stage. All changes relate to the need to be legally compliant and the Welsh Government's EIA for the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 covers this aspect.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. Key objectives of the Council set out in the Corporate Plan 2016-2020 addressed by this report are:
      • Wellbeing Outcome 4: An Active and Healthy Vale - Objective 8 Safeguarding those who are vulnerable and promoting independent living.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. Local ward members have not been consulted as this is a matter for the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Healthy Living and Social Care.

Background Papers

Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, Code of Practice Parts 4/5: Charging and Financial Assessment.

Contact Officer:

Amanda Phillips - Head of Resources Management and Safeguarding.

Officers Consulted

Gaynor Jones - Operational Manager, Commissioning and Information.

Carolyn Goodall - Senior Lawyer.

Responsible Officer:

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services