|[11 NOV 98]
WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Home Care Charging Policy Under Review
Warwickshire Social Services policy of charging for home
care is set to undergo a radical shake-up aimed at making it fairer, simpler and easier to
New proposals outlined by the Director of Social Services, Trish Haines, have been
supported in principal by councillors and the Director will present her final proposals,
with costings, to the Social Services Committee in February.
The Director said:
"I believe these proposals will make charging simpler to operate and easier for
people receiving home care to understand. Charging will be based on a combination of the
level of services needed by an individual and by their ability to pay."
The proposals include:
- Reducing the levels of charge for people receiving moderate to high levels of care and
increasing charges for those receiving lower levels of service, bringing Warwickshire into
line with other local authorities
- From 1 April 1999 charging for home care at an hourly rate rather than under the
existing band system and setting a maximum charge or "cap" for each service user
in accordance with their financial situation. The cap would be set at five levels, ranging
from people on Income Support to those with more than £16,000 savings.
- Eventually charging on the basis of the amount of care received rather than planned.
The Advisory Panel on Charging, a panel made up of service users, carers, and voluntary
organisations has broadly supported the proposals.
Charging was reviewed after problems arose with the policy, which was launched in 1996.
Councillors heard that the administration was complex and the policy was criticised as
being unfair because those in greatest need were being charged while those receiving low
levels of care were sometimes paying nothing at all.
Ground-breaking research carried our by the department, comparing Warwickshire with
other local authorities, found that the county charged more than average for home care
users on benefits who received higher levels of care but was in a small minority of
authorities which didnt charge at all for low levels of care. Charges for day care,
transport, meals and respite care were about the same as other authorities.
Sara Hurst 01926 418092
WARKS COUNTY COUNCIL