Support for self-funders in managing and arranging their social care
- There was a Government announcement in Sept 2021, with the intention of strengthening and enacting section 18 (3) of Care Act, which meant that anyone self-funding their social care could have access to local authority assessment and arranging their support (including residential care). This would provide a fairer cost of care for those who self-fund, and access to a wider range of options for their care and support arrangements. Typically the cost of care to self-funders was thought to be around 41% higher than Local Authority arranged packages of care.
- The latest announcement from Gillian Keegan in July 2022 indicates that this will now be delayed due to pressures on social care workforce- expressed as a backlog with carrying out Care Act assessments, reviews etc. In many areas, there is also a lack of social workers to carry out these statutory activities. This is now likely to be revisited in 2025
- Support Brokerage provides an independent mechanism to support people to self-direct their own care & support arrangements, and could offer capacity to the Local Authority social care work force in terms of helping to plan and arrange support for people who self-fund, as well as those who receive health and social care funding for their support
- For residential care provision to survive, there needs to be a reflection of the true cost of care. Commissioning and market forces, competitive tendering and large corporate care provider organisations in the market place have driven down the cost of care to encourage ‘bulk’ purchase of support by Local Authority commissioning and procurement processes. Providers are then forced to significantly increase the cost of care to those who self-fund in order to meet the gap in costs. This is neither person-centred or good administration of public funds.
Imagineer supported a lady who had been identified as eligible for social care support. She was supported by the direct payments team from her Local Authority, but the social worker refused her a direct payment on the basis they did not believe she could manage the arrangement. This resulted in a commissioned provision being identified. The provider of the commissioned support focused on meeting contractual requirements and was not prepared to meet the woman’s needs in a personalised way. The provision broke down on two occasions. A new social worker began working with the lady and arranged for a new provider to meet her, without having a conversation with her about who she wanted to be supported by.
When the lady raised the fact that she wanted to explore other options available to her, the social worker ceased the direct payment, and she was left without support. Imagineer supported the lady to make a complaint via the Local Government Social Care Ombudsman, which was upheld and resulted in the social worker offering to carry out a new assessment. The lady refused because the whole process had been so traumatic. She decided to self-fund her own support in a way which makes sense for her, so she has self-funded a cleaner to help her with domestic tasks, and somebody to take her shopping. Imagineer provided Support Brokerage through each stage of the process until she reached the solution which made most sense for her.
If you’re interested in the range of ways in which Support Brokerage can assist Self-funders in arranging their own care & support, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org