Herefordshire Council is reviewing its care and support charging policy in light of new legislation under the Care Act 2014, which came into effect in April 2015.
The required changes are in light of increasing demand on adult social care services across the county and reducing funding from central government; which will all but be eliminated from its current level of £26m to less than £1m in 2020. In 2016/17 alone, the council’s government funding will reduce by £9m which, taking into account rising adult social care costs, means savings of nearly £11m will need to be achieved.
We need to ensure that we protect our most vulnerable residents and with ever diminishing resources and significantly increasing adult social care costs, it’s never been more important for us to consider different ways of delivering services to achieve better value for money.
As part of this process, we would like your views on proposed changes to the way we charge for care and support. The information you provide will not only help identify the impact of the proposals on those who access care and support services, but also help to inform future decisions.
The consultation comprises of six proposals: Bring Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) allowances in line with the statutory regulations; remove joint assessments for couples; treatment of income; charging for arranging support for self-funders; charging for telecare and changes to billing and payments.
Councillor Patricia Morgan, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Due to significantly reducing government funding and increasing demand and costs for adult social care services, it’s important that we understand what impact some of these changes may mean. Therefore, we encourage people to take part in the consultation.
“We are currently considering increasing council tax to support rising adult social care costs; a move supported by the government, which acknowledges that current adult social care funding is insufficient to meet demand.
“However, this will not resolve the situation and we will still need to make additional savings across the council, which could mean further changes to services and increases in council tax.”
The consultation is available until Thursday 11 March 2016 and to find out more and have your say, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/awb-charging.