In this section
National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) Jenny Hilton
The Fund has been notified that as from 1st April 2003 NCSC becomes responsible for regulating Domiciliary Care Agencies and by law agencies must be registered with the NCSC.
Registered Domiciliary Care Agencies may be exempt from VAT for providing welfare services. I have contacted Customs & Excise National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 and their definition of welfare services is as follows - the provision of personal care (e.g. bathing or feeding a client) and key daily living tasks (e.g. routine cleaning and laundry) to promote the physical or mental well-being of elderly, sick, distressed or disabled people.
The Fund is aware of these changes and also that all agencies have not been able to register within the time scale. If we have any further information on this we will notify the Contact Officers.
For further information regarding NCSC contact
Customs & Excise website:
Customer Services Manager
In the last financial year the Customer Services team have managed to do a staggering 100 presentations to LA’s covering distances as far South as the Isle of Wight, to as far North as the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands.
We are now having to scale down our presentation programme and we are now working to a target of presenting to approximately 25% of all local authorities each year.
This does have some important implications. If every LA requested a presentation, we would only be able to visit each one about every 4 years.
For this reason, when a presentation is booked, it is most important that you invite representatives from as many different teams as possible. Remember that Children’s teams and Elderly teams can still be relevant (since you can apply to ILF aged between 16 and 65 years inclusive), and we would expect attendance at a presentation to be high.
Also, this means we will have to target those LAs most in need of our assistance (i.e. those with low take-up of ILF and with low success rates for applications).
Those Contact Officers interested in arranging a presentation for their LA should contact LESLEY BERRY or CHRIS PRIDDLE. However, please bear in mind that this will be subject to availability and dependent on ‘need’.
Local Authority Contribution
Overpayment Recovery Manager
I have been asked to clarify why, in certain instances, when the Local Authority (LA) reduces their input below £200, do we look to recover monies from them.
In order to be eligible to access funding on the 1993 Fund, a client needs to be in receipt of at least £200 worth of services from their LA each week. If the LA input falls below this level then the client becomes ineligible to receive help from the Fund and any monies that they have received are classed as overpaid.
In these instances the ILF will seek to recover. Where there seems to be no evidence of deceit by the client and we can establish that they have continued to employ care using our funding, we will normally look to recover the overpayment from the LA.
This is because the LA has the primary responsibility for meeting care needs and ILF monies should act as a top up to the LA provision when they are unable to meet the full cost of care. ILF funding can only be accessed if the LA meet the first £200.00 of a care package. If there is any reduction in the care package then this should be reflected in the amount paid by the ILF, not the LA.
When the ILF go into payment, we do so on the basis of the information provided to us by the LA. If this information turns out to be incorrect, ultimately making the client ineligible for funding, then our natural recourse would be to the LA that supplied us with the information in the first instance. If we allow LAs to reduce their input below £200 whilst continuing to access ILF monies, we are effectively breaking our own Trust Deed. This is the legal document that governs how we distribute our funding.
The Fund makes every effort to inform the LA of its responsibilities to inform the Fund should their input change. We appreciate that often we are not informed due to an oversight, however the Fund is not able to carry the cost of these mistakes.
ILF Complaints Procedure Trevor Chapman
The ILF launched its complaints procedure in March 2002.
The procedure requires receipt of all complaints to be recorded and the action taken to deal with them is also recorded. If they cannot be resolved immediately an acknowledgement will be sent within 5 working days and a response will be given within a month.
The aim of the complaints procedure is to identify aspects of the service that we provide which need improvement. We monitor the complaints received, and their outcomes, so that we can learn from this feedback from our customers.
A complaint can be made in writing, over the telephone or by speaking directly to a member of staff or a Visiting Social Worker. In all cases the complaint will be recorded by our complaints manager and referred to the relevant person.
A complaint is generally identified as being about the service we have provided or failed to provide. If someone is unhappy with a decision we have made or with one of the Funds’ policies this will be dealt with under our Review of Decisions procedure. This follows similar guidelines and allows us to identify weaknesses in our decision making process.
A third procedure enables us to record, monitor and track feedback, suggestions and comments, which do not fall into the previous categories. This provides us with a further measure of what our customers think of us.
We have recently carried out an evaluation of our complaints procedure after its first year and made some modifications that we believe will make it more effective. The introduction of the separate categories is one way that we have done this.
We are launching a new, wider range of information leaflets. The complaints, reviews and comments procedures are all explained more fully in these.
Figures about complaints are available for the last 9 months (July 2002 to March 2003). During this period we received 38 complaints and 5 were already in action when records began. There was a broad range of reasons, the most common being complaints about our Visiting Social Worker (9), processing delays (8) and processing methods (8). 21 of the complaints received an apology, in 16 cases an explanation of our actions was considered appropriate, 3 led to reviews of our actions and in 3 cases our actions were considered to be appropriate and no further action necessary.
Registered Homes and Adult Placements
Social Work Director
Since the National Care Standards Act came into force on 1 April 2002 there have been some confusing situations that have arisen with regard to registration and the ILF. The ILF’s Trust Deed say that payments from the ILF are to enable someone to live in the community rather than in a Registered Home (as laid out in the 1984 Registered Homes Act), and these have yet to be updated to reflect the new legislation.
This means that our main area of focus is still whether or not an ILF client’s living arrangements are really independent living rather than in an arrangement which should be or is a Registered Home. In some instances we come across homes which are trying to de-register, and we need to be satisfied that the future care arrangements will be based on truly individual care plans giving choice and control, and not just residential care under another name. More detail on this was given in the Newsletter sent out in October 2002.
There is also a new category under NCSC for the registration of Adult Placements. This is being implemented differently in England, Wales and Scotland, and there are consultations underway for changes in the English version. In view of these variations, and the fact that this category did not exist in the old legislation, the ILF will take the following line as an interim measure:
If the ILF is to consider funding a client we will need to establish that any “adult placement” type of arrangement is not a Registered Home. We will then look at whether the general principles of living independently in the community are being met. This will include points like whether the client wishes to live where they are with the present care arrangements, and whether it is reviewed regularly. Also whether they have, to the full extent of their capabilities, the same rights and choices as other citizens.
This guidance will be reviewed when the legislation on Adult Placements is clearer.
The Fund has reconsidered how it will take LA charges into account since the introduction of Fairer Charging. Previously, the Fund has not reassessed a client’s award solely on the basis of an increase to the LA charge, as this would have resulted in a decrease to the client’s “available income” and led to an increase from the ILF. The implication was that we would have effectively been taking over funding from the LA. We would, however, have reassessed if there had been a decrease in LA charge or if there had been other changes to the overall cost of the care.
As Fairer Charging will affect many of our clients, the decision has been made to change our policy. From now on the Fund will reassess if notified of any change to the LA charge (whether that be an increase or decrease). There need not have been any other change to the care package, although the case holder may seek confirmation of the full current costs involved before reassessing.
A QUICK EXAMPLE
Assuming client available income = £25.00
Before Fairer Charging
LA Input £220.00
LA Client Charge £ 10.00
Net LA £210.00
ILF Client Contribution £ 15.00
ILF Top Up £265.00
After Fairer Charging
LA Input £220.00
LA Client Charge £ 20.00
Net LA £200.00
ILF Client Contribution £ 5.00
ILF Top Up £275.00
As you can see, even though there are no other changes in the package the increased client charge to the LA has resulted in an increased ILF award.
A decreased client charge will have the effect of decreasing the ILF award.
IF ANY OF THIS IS UNCLEAR PLEASE RING THE OFFICE FOR FURTHER EXPLANATION.
The Quinquennial Review recommended that the Fund give consideration to allowing its maximum weekly sums to be exceeded in any week as long as the annualised total of the regular payments and the annualised total of the additional payments remained within the annualised maximum sum.
A formal policy document is likely to be completed soon. Due to the complexity and variety of case scenarios that this policy will apply to the intention is to incorporate some kind of flow-chart system which staff will be able to follow. However, this is delaying the formalising of the policy.
LA staff should be aware that we are able to consider annualised payments and are working on draft guidelines.
ADSS & ILF Reviews
In the October 2002 Newsletter it was proposed that every 3 months, the Fund would send a list of clients to be reviewed to LAs.
Development of our computer system is now complete and we will advise all LAs shortly on how we intend to proceed.
The Fund apologises for the delay in sending out the new application forms. At the present time demand exceeds supply, but this situation will be resolved shortly. We are also hoping to have the form available on our Website, which will be a help to all.
You can contact the Customer Services team using their direct lines, but please note that Robyn Lewis will not be available for the foreseeable future as she is working on a special project, the long awaited Professional User Guide.
Customer Service Manager
Jeff Macbeth 0115 - 9450845
Chris Priddle 0115 - 9450844
Lesley Berry 0115 - 9450847
Presentation After Care
Ian Lawrence 0115 - 9450846
Jenny Hilton 0115 - 9450843
Robyn Lewis 0115 - 9450842
Any of the Customer Services Team will be happy to assist with any general enquiries.
Customer Services 0115-9450948
93 Fund 0115-9450945
Extension Fund 0115-9450946