Community Care - 1st December 2015

Why council tax rise will not be enough to fill care home shortfall

Councils will be forced to ration the extra money they get from council tax between providers in response to the cost pressures on residential care, says Ray Hart

Photo: ImageBROKER/REXAs expected, chancellor George Osborne announced additional funding for social care in the Autumn Statement in the form of an additional levy of 2% on council tax that can only be used to fund adult social care.  In addition there will also be an additional investment in the Better Care fund of £1.5bn by 2019-20. However this will be unlikely to provide additional direct resources to providers in meeting the cost of care. Read more here

Community Care - 4th February 2011

Community CareCouncils risk driving good social care providers out of business and propping up bad ones by making blanket cuts to the fees they pay for services, a consultant has warned. Less efficient services would be able to bear such cuts more easily than those that provide good value, said Ray Hart, commercial director at OLM Financial Management. OLM works for councils and primary care trusts to negotiate lower placement costs with providers by comparing their spending on overheads, such as property, insurance or electricity, against market averages. Hart said 60% of more than 4,250 placements studied by OLM failed to offer value for money, but the rest offered commissioners a good deal. But he warned: “Certainly, every council is [at most] freezing fees for next year. Some are doing less than that. That’s a mistake. This could drive value-for-money providers out of the market.” Read the full article here

Community Care - 9th December 2014

Picture posed by model (Credit: Bill Truslow/Rex Features)The Care Act 2014 places new responsibilities on local authorities to act on behalf of people who are expected to self-fund their own care – a group historically neglected by councils. From April 2015, councils will come under a duty to provide information and advice to people in their areas to enable them to plan for their care and support, including in relation to how they can benefit from independent financial advice. A year later, the cap on care costs will come into force, enabling self-funders to receive state-funded care and support after accruing a certain level of cost, as measured by what the local authority would have spent on meeting their needs, calculated through regular assessments. At the same time, in April 2016, councils will come under a duty to arrange residential care for people who are not eligible for any financial support from their authority but ask the council to make arrangements for them. This duty comes into force a year earlier – in April 2015 – for non-residential care, though its biggest impact will be in the residential sector. Read the full article here