Council to charge brokerage to people needing home care

Posted On 31 Jan 2017 at 2:15 pm

People who need care in their own home could be charged a “brokerage” fee in ongoing efforts to bridge the gap in the city’s social care budget.

Stock image of carer and patient by Mark Adkins on Flickr

Stock image of carer and patient by Mark Adkins on Flickr

Brighton and Hove’s health and wellbeing board are due to discuss the proposal this afternoon, which would apply to anyone who has savings and assets in excess of £23,250, who are already required to fund their own care costs.

In a report, Angie Emerson, Head of Financial Assessments, suggests setting the charges at £260 for initially setting up the service, with an ongoing fee of £80 per year for reviews, amendments and general administration.

At current, 260 people pay for their own home care via the council’s home care contract, paying £22 per hour for in-house home care and support, and £35 for in-house day care. These charges are set to rise to £23 and £36 respectively.

Ms Emerson said: “Based upon current numbers, we can estimate around 80 new cases per year and the income would be estimated at £20,800.

“If the current numbers stay at around 260, subsequent annual fees at £80 per person would provide additional income of £20,800.

“Whilst the estimated income is fairly low, the introduction of this charge may reduce the numbers of self-funders requesting brokerage services which would reduce the existing burden of administration on social workers, care matching team, commissioning team, and the risk of bad debt to the council.”

The report also warns that there may be a looming crisis in the number of residential care homes in the area. It says: “The volume of care providers seeking to exit the local market is concerning.

“Whilst the number of care homes with nursing has remained relatively static over the last 4 years the number of care homes closing is at an all-time high. The number of home care providers leaving the market also exceeds those joining.

“Neighbouring authorities are experiencing similar issues and looking to secure their local provision through use of block contracts. This is likely to impact on Brighton and Hove as significant care home placements are made outside the city.

“Both locally and nationally there is growing evidence that care providers are handing back unprofitable work, both home care packages of care and whole contracts.”

The meeting begins at 4pm at Hove Town Hall and can be viewed via webcast here.

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