Councils cannot set maximum budget levels when calculating the cost of people’s care, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.
The Ombudsman has issued the advice after an investigation found Wiltshire Council had a policy of placing people into bands, and paying in line with those banding levels, regardless of need. This is contrary to the Care Act.
The Ombudsman became aware of the council’s system after a woman, whose adult son had substantial and complex health problems and disabilities, had her support cut significantly.
The Ombudsman’s investigation found the council at fault for using an outdated matrix tool to calculate the amount of support offered to the family, and for reducing the support offered immediately, rather than as a staged reduction as the matrix tool said it should. It was also at fault for the way in which it reduced their funding for transport.
CARE ACT 2014 PERSONAL BUDGETS MUST BE
TRANSPARENT; FAMILY CARE NOT TO BE ASSUMED;
UNJUST ENRICHMENT CLAIM WAS “AGAINST PUBLIC
A new High Court decision makes it clear that and personal budget assessment must be clear/transparent, to ensure that the care package meets the user’s needs. The assessment should not make assumptions about services or other help that may be provided.
In this case the local authority was wrong to take into account family support which the family was not willing and able to provide. Read more and see full decision
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The Government has announced that disabled people who are turned down for the enhanced mobility rate of Personal Independence Payment and lease a vehicle through the Motability scheme will be able to keep their cars for longer. DR UK is concerned that these changes won’t help disabled people who have long waiting times for appeals in their local area. Read more
The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Paul Gray to lead the second independent review of PIP. It will consider how evidence is being used to assist the correct claim decision and the speed and effectiveness of information-gathering. A call for evidence is now open and will be concluded by April 2017.
National Voices have produced a briefing paper on the integral value of Personal Budgets to NHS care.
Often, Personal Budgets are seen as a potential opt-out but should be regarded as a welcome advance towards more ‘people powered’ services.
See the briefing at: www.nationalvoices.org.uk