Outcome of the Review of Adult Social Care Charging for Respite Care

Sent on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Health and Care:

The Council has reviewed its approach to charging for respite and decided to change its approach.  Respite is a short-term placement in a residential care home which can last anything from one night to eight weeks. 

What is the current approach to charging for respite?

For some years, the Council has offered flat fee bands, which are: 

Individuals with:Pay:
Savings over £23,250 (this is the nationally set upper capital limit)Full cost of service
Savings between £14,250 and £23,249£115 pw
Savings below £14,250 and not in receipt any of Pension Credit Guaranteed, or Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit£90 pw
Savings below £14,250 and in receipt of any of Pension Credit Guaranteed or Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit£70 pw

What is the change?

Instead of charging one of the above flat fee bands, from 27th March the Council will charge individuals using the same rules that apply to charging for care at home.  This means that each individual will contribute what a financial assessment based on those rules indicates they can afford to pay. 

There is no change for those with assets above the upper capital limit; they will pay the full cost of their care. 

Does the change mean people will pay more, or less, for respite than they have been paying?   

It’s not possible to say definitely, without an individual financial assessment.  But, it is likely that after the change, more people will pay less for their respite than they did before the change.  Some people may not pay anything for it at all, if they are already contributing the maximum sum they can afford for other care and support services they get.  There could be some people who pay more as a result of the change, but they will pay no more than a financial assessment shows they can afford.

Why is this change happening?

The Council thinks that the new approach is fairer.  By financially assessing what each individual can afford to pay, it will be more confident that people are being charged no more than is reasonable.  Those with the lowest level of assets will probably benefit most from the change.  This is particularly important at a time when concern about the cost of living is high.   

The Council is keen to ensure that those who can benefit from respite are able to access it on an affordable basis.  This is important for individuals with needs, and their carers.  The Council recognises that carers really value the assurance that respite can provide, in allowing them to take a break from their caring role. 

How did the Council make its decision about this change?

The Council consulted on its proposal for change for eight weeks between October and December 2022.  A report was written to summarise the responses that people gave during the consultation.  You can read the consultation report here: https://www.northeastlincolnshireccg.nhs.uk/review-of-adult-social-care-charging-for-respite/

The change takes effect from 27th March 2023. 

More information?

Individuals who have questions about their individual charges for adult social care (including respite), can contact the Finance Team at Focus Independent Adult Social Work by telephone (0300 330 2870) or by email (focus@nhs.net).   The Finance Team at Focus acts on behalf of the Council.