The Care Act – implications for self-funders

The Care Act – implications for self-funders

Bernie Crean, Care Review Services LtdIf you or a relative need long term care, The Care Act has implications for self-funders, as there will be a new system of social care assessments for people who have to pay for their own care.

This applies to local authority assessments, not NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments.

Bernie Crean from Care Review Services Ltd outlines some of the issues relating to the new social care assessment system, and he highlights the potential flaws in the process:

Most if not all Social Services teams across the country use a computer based assessment tool to generate an ‘estimated care budget’ (EB). They then look to meet care needs within this estimated budget.

This online assessment tool has mainly been used to assess the care needs and costs for individuals who were below the current local authority financial threshold of £23,500. It has not generally been used for those above this financial threshold and who are classed as being self-funders.

This electronic assessment process will soon be the assessment tool that is used to consider the care needs and costs for self-funders, too – under the new Care Bill that comes into effect in April 2015. It will also be of importance when the ‘Dilnot care meter’ and financial cap on care fees is implemented in April 2016. (Since this article was written, the government has postponed this until 2020.)

However, unlike in NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments where a team of assessors is required, in the new social care assessments it will be the sole responsibility of one single assessing social worker to ‘score’ care needs using this new online assessment tool.

It is possible, therefore, that decisions about how social care needs have been scored will be challenged at a later date …

Read the full article on the Care Review Services website here.

Read more about financial means testing for care.

4 Comments

  1. HELEN DAVIS 3 months ago

    Hello, i need some advice please. My step Father fell and went into Hospital 6th December 2016 and is still in. He has Dementia and broke loads off bones with his fall. Mom mom is disabled and unable to have him back home. Long story but he isn’t entitled to any of the house and only has £2,600 to his name. We are trying to get him in a care home and have social services pay for him. He cant get out of bed himself, can’t dress, drink or eat properly. Many more things are wrong with him. Social services and the occupational therapist (OT) say he can walk a flight off stairs, walk and dress himself. HE CAN’T. I got the OT to re-assess him with me and agreed, but they say he doesn’t meet the needs to go in a care home and will have to go into Social Housing. I have registered him with council but will take months and months for some something to come up. In the meantime they have told me they will put him in a budget motel and send in a carer 2/3 times a day. I have just asked for the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) test to be done but what is it and do we have to be pressent when done. We need help as this is killing my mom, and i mean that. Her doctors have written a letter my step dad cant go home. HELP

  2. Chris-G 2 years ago

    Since when was a social worker qualified to identify specific medical needs?

    How can a social worker use some kind of calculator to means test someone that has not yet had an assessment for NHS CHC funding? That would be a data processing act offence. (Unnecessary Data Gathering and processing springs to mind).

    The longer they patch and Pee about with this, the more obvious is the fact that it is not fit for purpose at all.

    • Bernie 2 years ago

      Hi Chris

      It isn’t a case of a social worker being qualified to identify a specific health need.

      A social care worker plays a significant role in the CHC assessment process. The first step in determining CHC eligibility is to assess if care needs are more than being a social care need. This has been law since the NAA 1948 and is clearly stated in CHC guidance. It has been underlined in case law, Coughlan, Grogan and many other cases. The new Care Act carries the same legal requirement to consider if needs are above the threshold of being merely social care. The law states ( as does CHC national framework) that if needs are above social care, then needs ‘must’ be seen as being a primary health need and eligible for CHC. Only a social care worker from the relevant local Authority can make a judgement on needs not being social care. They are qualified to do this and it is a statutory duty for them to carry out this function. Given that the threshold for social care is low then more clients who have care needs could and probably should be eligible for full CHC funding. Especially those that are in 24 hour care.

      I hope this clarifies the role of social care staff in the CHC process.

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