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Stakeholder Update

News from Hampshire County Council’s Adult Services Department  

 

April 2015

Focus on the Care Act

Welcome to this first stakeholder update from the Adult Services department at Hampshire County Council. This update has been produced to keep you informed about changes to legislation relating to care and support and to provide you with key information about change projects that are underway.

This first update focuses on the Care Act 2014 and what the Adult Services department has been doing to prepare for the key changes.

An invitation was sent to all for the Care Act stakeholder event on April 21st. This will not only be giving further information about the Act and how Hampshire is implementing it, but also providing the opportunity to ask questions. This event has been extremely popular, and therefore an additional event has been organised for May 29th. If you have not received confirmation of a place at the April event, please do not turn up on the day as we will be unable to accommodate you. If you would like to book a place at the event in May please email

The Care Act 2014 places new statutory responsibilities on Local Authorities relating to care and support for residents in their area. The Department of Health has produced a number of factsheets which will be found to be useful. These provide a succinct overview of each new duty.


Changes from April 2015

New eligibility criteria for accessing social care and support – which will introduce a standard threshold across the country. Hampshire was already providing care to people with critical and substantial needs, therefore the new eligibility criteria will not result in a change to our practice.


Carers will be entitled to receive services in their own right (for the first time) if they meet a new set of eligibility criteria which will have a standard threshold across the country. This could increase demand for assessment and support, as Hampshire has a high number of people who identify themselves as carers of an adult and might seek local authority help.


Increased emphasis on early intervention and prevention and providing high quality information and advice about care. This will build on the Council’s extensive website, popular guides and existing work with the voluntary and community sector.


The deferred payments scheme for people who want to use the value of their home to pay care home fees, which are recouped when the home is sold. Changes to the scheme under the Care Act include Councils being able to charge an upfront administration fee and interest on the loan. Hampshire will be charging up to £1190 for the set up and £312 for ongoing annual costs after the first year. This amount will be more if the property needs to be revalued. The maximum interest rate that can be charged is 2.65%, with interest charged on a compound basis.


People funding their own care – have the right to ask the council to organise care for them (only care at home, not residential or nursing care). The council can charge a fee to cover its costs in organising the care. In Hampshire there will be a one-off fee of £296 and then £6 per week thereafter to cover the Council’s administration costs. This only applies to new self funders approaching the Council from the 1st April 2015.


Duty for councils to provide advocacy – to facilitate people’s involvement in the key care and support processes of assessment, care and support planning, review or safeguarding if they have substantial difficulty participating or if they have no one else to assist them in this way. Care Act advocacy from 1 April will be provided by Hampshire Advocacy Regional Group (HARG). Solent Mind will continue to provide advocacy for people requiring an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA), an Independent Mental Capacity Adviser (IMCA) or a Paid Representative. Solent Mind will also provide the Care Act advocacy for people with mental health problems. These are temporary arrangements to give us the opportunity to work on future arrangements for 2016.


Meeting care and support needs of people in prisons and approved premises – Councils will become responsible for this in their area. Two part time care managers will be working in Winchester Prison to carry out assessments, and a contract will be in place to provide any care and support that is required for people.

There are also a number of significant changes that are planned to start in April 2016. These are subject to further consultation by the Department of Health and decisions by the next Government.

Changes from April 2016


£72,000 cap on an individual’s contribution to care costs over their lifetime. An individual who is paying for their own care (a ‘self funder’) can only count their care costs towards the cap if they meet the same eligibility criteria for needing care as someone who would be publicly funded. The Government is consulting on a number of options for a different approach to the cap for working age adults.

People born with a disability or who acquire needs for care and support before the age of 25 will not have to pay towards their care costs.


The cost of board and lodgings for those in residential care will not count towards the cap but it will be fixed, at £12,000 a year or £230 a week


Financial thresholds will change for people who fund their own care. The most noteworthy change is that from April 2016 in residential care, you will only pay the full cost of your care if you have over £118,000 in savings and assets, unless you have a property that is disregarded from your financial assessment (for example, because an eligible relative such as a spouse is still living there, in which case a lower threshold of £27,000 applies). At the moment the upper threshold is £23,250.


Councils will set up a care account to keep a record of a person’s total care costs that count towards the cap.

Please note that these changes are subject to confirmation by the new government following the General Election in May 2015.


If you have any questions regarding anything you have read in this briefing or if you would like to attend the May event please send an email and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

Additionally if there is anything that you would like information about in the next stakeholder update please email