Richmond Day Care Charges

Closed 30 Sep 2019

Opened 2 Aug 2019

Overview

Introduction

The Council is proposing a change to charges for the Council’s day care services for people assessed to pay the maximum charge. This change would affect people who fund their own care and support services. To ensure we keep people informed about this possible change and take all feedback into account when making a decision about the service, we are launching a consultation about our proposal.  

This information tells you:

  • Why we are having to make changes
  • What we are proposing to do
  • The options available
  • How you can help by telling us what you think
  • What will happen next

Why are these changes proposed?

Adult Social Care services are means-tested with charges based on what a person can afford, taking into account their income and savings. In Richmond, where someone has savings over £23,250 (this is the limit set by the Government), they are responsible for fully funding their own care. This is also known as being a “self-funder”. Everyone else is financially assessed and pays an individual contribution based on their own financial circumstances. People on low incomes are not required to pay for their care services.

Unlike other care services, the Council’s day care services and transport have previously been subsidised by the Council. As a result, people with savings over £23,250 who would normally be required to fully fund their care, have received a subsidised service. The proposal is that over the next three years, the level of subsidy provided to self-funders will be gradually reduced. It is proposed to increase the maximum charges for day services to reflect the full cost of providing this service.

Like other councils, we must find ways of reducing spend on some services while ensuring that we are able to provide much needed care and support to those who need support. Richmond is facing growing pressures on local services because of increasing numbers of people requiring adult social care. Our overall aim is to provide sustainable services for the longer term. We know from previous consultations that day care services offer valuable care and support to adults with disabilities and their families and the services are highly valued by residents.

We have considered a range of options, including keeping things how they are now. However, we have concluded that additional income generated from people assessed to pay the maximum charges will help to ensure these services are protected in future. We have drawn up the following proposal, which we would like your views on.

Our Proposal

The proposal is that over three years we increase the charge for day care services for those who can pay the full cost of the service, thereby narrowing the gap between charges and the real cost of providing day care service.

Adult social care and support is means-tested. How much people must contribute towards their care and support is determined as part of a financial assessment. Where someone has been assessed as eligible for care and support, but they have capital, such as savings and assets above the upper capital limit of £23,250, they will be required to pay the full costs of their care and support until such a time that their savings and assets fall below this limit. We call this being a “self-funder”.

Under the Care Act, self-funders whose needs are to be met in a community setting can ask the Council to arrange their care and support for them. However, self-funders have to pay the full costs of their care and support.

What is the policy now?

The Council’s day centres are currently available to local residents on a privately funded basis regardless of whether they have been assessed by the Council as eligible for care and support.  At present, the Council is subsidising part of the cost of the day care and transport service, so the full cost is not being passed on to those who can afford it. Other care services that the Council arranges for self-funders are not subsidised.

For more information on the local approach to charging, please see the Adult Social Services Contributions Policy.

Why are these changes happening?

You will be aware that councils are facing financial challenges in relation to reductions in their Government grant funding and also from budgetary pressures due to an increased number of people needing services. The Council has already taken several steps to protect services as much as possible, including applying a 2% Social Care Precept to Council Tax to fund additional services and to protect existing services. The Council has also taken other steps to save money, including setting up a Shared Staffing Arrangement with Wandsworth Council to reduce staffing costs and protect services. However, the Council must also look at other options to protect the essential day care services we provide.

In 2017, the Council undertook a Day Services Review that looked at income generation and ‘value for money’. The review identified that charges for day care services that were applicable to self-funders were set at a level significantly lower than the actual cost of providing the service. Other measures to reduce the management cost of the day services and the cost of providing transport have also been considered and are being implemented, so that we can protect services.

What are we proposing to do?

In view of this, we are proposing that the Council will increase charges for this service for self-funders over the next three years so that whilst a subsidy is still provided this will be reduced and eventually withdrawn. This would then enable the Council’s resources to be focused on service users who are eligible for council-funded care and support and for those who are able to pay to make a greater contribution towards the cost of the care and support services.

It is appreciated that the increase in charges would have a negative impact on those affected. However, the feedback from this consultation will help us understand any concerns and plan any necessary actions to mitigate the impact. For example, we are proposing to spread the increase gradually over three years.

Self-funders would continue to have access to a range of preventative services, information and advice, regardless of whether or not they are asking the Council to arrange their support for them.

What is the proposed charge for day care services?  

Service

Current charge

Proposed charge from November 2019

Proposed charge from April  2020

Proposed charge from April 2021

Day Care

£75 per day

£83 per day

£85 per day

£88 per day

Transport (Return)

£15 per day

£17 per day

£30 per day

£42 per day

Transport (One Way)

£7 per day

£8 per day

£16 per day

£23 per day

 

What are the other options available?

The following options have been considered with the rationale detailed for the various options.

Have your say

We are keen to hear the views of anyone who would like to comment on these proposals, but particularly people who currently use the day care service on a self-funding basis.

If you have any questions about these proposals or would prefer this document in a different format or language or would like some help with completing the questionnaire, please contact the Financial Assessments Team on:

Telephone:         020 8831 6400

Email: charginghelpline@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

Completing the survey

Please read all the information about these proposals before completing the survey, so that you have all the available information before giving us your views.

You can complete the survey by clicking the 'online survey' link below. If you would prefer a paper copy of these documents, please contact us using the contact details above.

What will happen next?

Timetable of events: 

  • Consultation document sent out - August 2019
  • Consultation close date - 30 September 2019
  • Consultation feedback reviewed -
    October 2019
  • Report published - November 2019
  • Proposed first year day centre charges review - 1 December 2019
  • Proposed second year day centre charges review - April 2020
  • Proposed third year day centre charges review - April 2021

At the end of the consultation, all the comments received will be considered carefully before we decide if the proposal to increase the charge for day care will proceed and if so how it would be implemented. If the decision is made to increase the charge we would provide advice and support to those who may be affected by any changes. A report summarising the findings will be published on the Council’s consultations pages at www.richmond.gov.uk/consultation.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open to all

Interests

  • Richmond Borough