Cornwall Council has started consultation on a new draft Charging Policy, which describes how adult social care is paid for and why. They would like to receive input on the changes from Community and Voluntary sector organisations and local people.

You can view the full Draft Charging Policy here. Notes about the changes are at the bottom of this article.

**NEW 7 JULY – the Easy Read version of the policy has been released, to help people with a learning disability to make informed decisions about the changes. 

You can download it here: ER Charging Policy

 

How to make your views known

You can complete an online survey to share your thoughts.

Alternatively, people can ask for a paper survey to be sent to them and post their feedback.  Call  0300 1234 100 or email  ASCConsultations@cornwall.gov.uk to be sent a paper version. Assistance can be offered to those who need an alternative format, or one-to-one support to work through the questionnaire.

The consultation is open until 11 September 2020.

There will also be online engagement sessions, replacing the usual in-person focus groups and presentations.

 

Engagement sessions

Cornwall Council will be holding live online engagement sessions so that people can find out more and ask any questions they may have. These will be held every Tuesday and Thursday throughout July from 10am until 12 noon using Microsoft Teams.

Each session will include a presentation to explain the policy and provide time for the hosts to answer any questions.  They will take notes to record all comments made.  The dates are:

Tuesday 7 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 9 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Tuesday 14 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 16 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Tuesday 21 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 23 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Tuesday 28 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 30 July 2020 10am – 12 noon
Tuesday 4 August 2020 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 6 August 2020 10am – 12 noon

To book a place on one of the online events, please email ASCConsultations@cornwall.gov.uk to receive a link to the event.  To be able to join, people will need to have Microsoft Teams loaded on their computer.  This is available free for either PC or MAC through the internet.

 

Cornwall Council is also arranging some face to face sessions and workshops for August, so long as it is safe to do so, based on current lockdown regulations. More information will be available on their website soon.

Individual webinars or face to face sessions, for specific organisations, can be requested.  Options are being explored for sign language interpreters, and other accessibility support.

We would be grateful if this information could be shared with people you represent and your local networks.

 

What are the changes?

The Council states:

The Council’s current Charging Policy was approved in 2016. The existing policy is out of date and is not as clear as it should be.

A revised draft was developed in December 2017 for consultation, but insufficient time was allowed for the exercise and the policy was not progressed. Healthwatch reviewed our approach to the consultation and the report they produced provided valuable learning which we applied to development of the Direct Payment policy that was recently approved by Cabinet.  We are modelling our approach to consultation for the Charging Policy based on that experience.

Following informal engagement with HealthWatch and Voluntary and Community Sector organisations a new draft policy has now been prepared.

The new policy has been written in more accessible language and links to other information to make it easier to understand.

Instead of referring to “financial assessment” and “client contributions”, the policy now uses “charge” and “application for financial assistance”.  This helps people to understand that all social care is charged for unless a person qualifies for financial assistance

We have added further sections to explain our existing approach, for example:

  • Self-service (This is already in the new Direct Payment policy)
  • NHS Continuing Healthcare
  • Debt recovery
  • Data sharing
  • Self-funding
  • Appointeeship and Deputyship
  • Gaps in service
  • Publication of charges and annual increases
  • Direct payments

Other sections use simpler language to avoid misunderstanding. These include; Deprivation of Assets, Deferred Payments, Top Ups, charging informal carers and Disability Related Expenditure.

Key changes are set out at Appendix 2.  These are:

  • Applying charges for Home Care from the start of the care package rather than the date of financial assessment.
  • Charging for respite care using care home charging rules for temporary placements.
  • Charging full cost of meals for people receiving care at home or who attend a day centre
  • Introducing a charge for arranging services for self-funders.

 

The approach to consultation is the same as our approach to the Direct Payment policy and will include:

  1. In late March/early April using a variety of communication channels to encourage people to get involved, for example, a media release, information on our website and using our network of partners like CVS, partnership boards and other organisations
  2. Between April and June, continuing our engagement with face to face discussions, including drop-in sessions with members of the public, workshops across the different localities and meetings with our partners

The period of engagement will end in June, leading to Scrutiny in September and Cabinet in November, with the new policy live by December.