From: Reading Borough Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Subject: Care Act consultation shows support for continuing to provide preventative and direct carers services free of charge
Care Act consultation shows support for continuing to provide preventative and direct carers services free of charge
Reading Borough Council Press Release
THE READING response to national changes in social care is being discussed at the Council's Adult Social Care, Children's Services and Education Committee on 4th March.
Reading Borough Council conducted a 12 week consultation on proposals for the local implementation of the Care Act - a reform in the law relating to the care and support of adults and their carers coming into effect from April 2015.
These wide-ranging changes to adult social care - the biggest in 60 years - cover assessment, eligibility, care planning, carers, the local care market, safeguarding, and prevention. There are also some changes to how care is funded, in preparation for further reforms that are planned for April 2016. These include the introduction of a cap on the maximum amount that a person will pay towards their care and support over their lifetime, and an increase to the amount of savings that a person can have and still receive support with their care costs if they need residential care.
Respondents agreed with the Council that it should not use its discretionary power to ask for payment for preventative services and direct carers services and that these should continue to be provided free of charge. The consultation also showed support for:
• The nine themes for preventative services, as set out in the Council's revised Prevention Framework
• Changes to how the Council charges for respite care and how financial assessments for couples are completed
• The priorities for shaping the local care and support market, as set out in the Council's draft Market Position Statement
• Retaining the option of a simplified Direct Payment for eligible carers, as an alternative to be available alongside access to an individually calculated Personal Budget with Support Plan
• Ensuring adult carers of disabled children have access to same type of support as adult carers of adults with care and support needs
• Services for people who fund the full cost of their care and support, with charges if people access this
• Extending the Council's Choice Policy to cover other types of accommodation, such as Supported Living
• Changing the Council's Deferred Payments Scheme by extending its availability but charging administration fees for setting up and monitoring a Deferred Payment Agreement and charging interest
475 people including service users and carers, voluntary and community sector partners and the wider public contributed to the consultation through a series of events and by submitting written responses.
Cllr Rachel Eden, Lead Member for Adult Social Care said:
"The Council has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that people in Reading get care and support when they need it to live as fulfilling lives as possible.
"I am pleased that so many residents - who shared their views through the consultation - agree with the Council that preventative and direct carers services should continue to be provided free of charge, despite Central Government giving Local Authorities the discretion to charge for these under the new Care Act."
"I would like to thank everyone who worked on and responded to the consultation and who are helping us to provide the essential support services needed by both residents and their carers."
Notes for Editors:
A paper on Care Act Implementation from April 2015 will be presented at the Adult Social Care, Children's Services and Education Committee on 4th March and is available here http://beta.reading.gov.uk/article/2933/Adult-Social-Care-Childrens-Services-and-Education-Committee-04-MAR-2015, agenda item 8.
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://beta.reading.gov.uk/article/1908/News--Press-Releases/
Media Contact: Anna Fowler
Tel: 0118 937 3957