Brent Council is running from the 2nd of November to the 17th of December 2023 on proposed changes to the Adult Social Care charging policy.
Brent Council is responsible for Adult Social Care services for adults aged 18 or over. As is the case for most councils in London, Brent charges residents who are able to pay for these services.
The council’s charging policy has been reviewed, and it is proposed that elements of the policy should change. This will not have an impact on all service users, but it is important that people receiving social care services are aware of the changes and are able to give their views on what is being proposed.
As well as consulting on changes to the Adult Social Care charging policy, the council is also focused on supporting people to remain as independent as possible, so that they do not need formal care commissioned by the local authority, which they would need to pay for.
The proposed changes to the charging policy are essential to ensure the council can continue to provide the Adult Social Care services thousands of residents rely on in a sustainable way for years to come. Some people could pay more for their care services if the proposed changes are implemented.
The proposed changes to the policy that the council will consult on are –
Changes to the minimum income guarantee – There is a minimum level of income which a person must be left with after charges are taken. This changes according to a person’s circumstances. Currently, Brent tops this up by 25%. It is proposed to reduce this to 10%, to retain a local enhancement for people who pay for their care services. This change only affects the half of service users that contribute towards the cost of their homecare and these people will still receive 10% more than the minimum level of income they need to live, which would be one of the most generous schemes in London. The consultation will ask whether this should be implemented in full in April 2024, or phased in over time.
Increasing the amount charged to service users if they do not participate or cooperate with their financial assessment – The vast majority of service users take part in the financial assessment process, but if after four weeks they do not, it is proposed they are charged the full cost of their care. The average care cost will also be raised for financial assessments that take longer than expected to complete. The consultation will ask whether residents agree with this proposal.
Increasing the hourly rate charged for homecare from £12.97, which will increase annually – This will impact self-funders (people who pay the total cost of their care) and some people on low incomes who have a small care package, however everyone will be re-assessed to ensure they can afford to pay. The consultation will ask what steps the council should take to support those affected.
Charges during admissions to hospital – Proposals include not reimbursing service users for the cost of their adult social care while they are in hospital, for up to seven days if they receive homecare, or 28 days if they are in a residential or nursing home. These changes would make the charging policy more consistent and ensure it is fit for purpose and sustainable for future years.
As well as consulting on changes to the Adult Social Care charging policy, the council is also focused on supporting people to remain as independent as possible, so that they do not need formal care commissioned by the local authority which they would need to pay for.
The council is keen to hear your thoughts and views on the proposals. The consultation opened on Thursday, 2nd November and will close on Sunday, 17th December. Full details of the consultation are on the council’s website, including details of public events to discuss the consultation – www.brent.gov.uk/neighbourhoods-and-communities/have-your-say
The results of the consultation will be presented to the council’s Cabinet meeting in January 2024, when final decisions will be taken on the changes to the policy. Any changes would be implemented from April 2024.