Lincolnshire County Council approves changes to adult care charging policy

Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. EMN-150909-170439001
Lincolnshire County Council offices in Lincoln. EMN-150909-170439001

The council’s executive has given the go ahead to changes to the policy which explains what people pay towards their care costs.

Changes to the non-residential contributions policy were recommended by officers to make the policy clearer and to help Adult Care meet future demand for the service. The recommendations were informed by a public consultation, which ran from June to September 2015.

They include:

* Introducing a 72 hour notice period for cancelling care, with exceptions for emergency hospital admissions, and introduce a new way of calculating refunds for cancelled or missed care.

* Charge everyone for services from 14 days after the financial assessment form is sent.

* To assess contributions against the full cost of services received and raise the weekly maximum charge from £250 to £400 in 2016/17, £500 in 2017/18 and to remove the maximum charge in 2018/19.

* Introduce banded disability related expenses for new service users.

* To introduce an arrangement fee to cover the cost of arranging non-residential services for people who have savings or assets over the capital limit of £23,500, where the person requests the council to do so.

Coun Mrs Patricia Bradwell, executive member for adult care, said: “Around 4,500 people on the lowest incomes will not see any changes to their contributions. People will continue to be financially assessed before they are asked to contribute towards their care. I want to reassure people that regardless of the changes to the policy, if you are assessed as not having the finances to pay for your care, you will not be asked to do so.”

Glen Garrod, director of adult social services, said: “Lincolnshire has an aging population and demand for Adult Care services is growing. Coupled with this, the council has made £120m savings from its annual budget since 2011, and will need to find £120m of further efficiencies by the end of the decade.

“These policy changes will generate over £900,000 per year, which equates to 70,000 care hours, to help us to continue providing services for people who need support and cannot afford to pay. The changes will also make the policy easier to understand and align it more closely with new national guidelines and policies of other councils in the country.”

Changes will be implemented from April 2016 and people receiving care will be written to directly before then to explain how their contribution will be affected.

To read the full report to the executive and see the recommendations proposed by officers in detail click here