We asked for your views on changing our Fairer Contributions Policy in a way that was fair and prioritises support for those in greatest need. The proposals were about fees and charges for community based (non-residential) care services which include: home care, day care, supported living, extra care, direct payments and other services financially assessed under our Fairer Contributions Policy. The specific changes proposed were:
raising the maximum contribution for home care to match the lowest hourly rate we pay our providers
raising the maximum contribution for day care to reflect the actual amount paid to providers for an individual’s care
including the higher rate of Disability Allowance and Attendance Allowance as income
aligning the council’s guaranteed minimum income to the Department of Health’s guaranteed minimum income or the current level whichever is the highest.
The consultation involved posting consultation packs to people who use community care services, writing to their carers, emailing key stakeholders and hosting drop-in sessions across the borough as well as putting the proposals and an online survey on Engage Barnet. A total of 286 questionnaires and responses were received from the general public and interested groups.
Opinion was fairly evenly split on raising the maximum contribution for day care. However, some of the open ended responses may indicate that some respondents considered the proposals to be about provider payment rates rather than service user contribution rates. If this is the case, then it is possible that the majority of respondents disagree with the proposal.
There was slightly more disagreement than agreement on the proposal to raise the maximum contribution for day care.
More respondents disagreed than agreed with the proposals to include the higher rate of Disability Allowance and Attendance Allowance as income and to align the council’s guaranteed minimum income to the Department of Health’s guaranteed minimum income or the current level whichever is the highest.
Please read the full consultation report for further information.
All feedback from the consultation was given due consideration. Whilst there is a proposal in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy to not increase Council Tax in 2017/18, it also proposes applying the Social Care Precept at the maximum of 3%. This has been taken into account in assessing the Council’s financial resources available for adult social care. Taking all this into account, it is considered that alternative savings proposals (for example further cuts to preventative services) would have a greater adverse impact than implementing these proposals.
The changes to the Fairer Contributions Policy were approved on 28/02/17 by powers delegated to the Adults and Health Commissioning Director (in consultation with the Chairman of the Adults and Safeguarding Committee) by the Adults and Safeguarding Committee.