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5 September 2007: Torbay Care Trust Meeting

TORBAY SERVICE USER DISCUSSION
Wednesday 5 September 2007

Application Form

Service users were asked to go through the ILF Application Form and give comments on questions, wording, ease of completion, etc.  Here is a summary of their comments:

· In the insert about Long Stay Hospitals it would be useful to explain what is meant by “NHS Campus”.  This was not immediately obvious to the group.

· Could the question about capital and savings be reworded to clarify that it is a joint/combined amount of the applicant and their partner?

· Could the form make it clearer that a person will be financially assessed and may be expected to make a contribution?

· Combining the application and financial form may be the best solution.

· Clarify “underlying entitlement” to DLA on the application form.

· Why ask what “help” people need on the application form if this information is going to be gathered at the visit?  (This prompted a discussion about whether full information about care need and cost might be gathered at the application stage, although the group were unsure how this would work).

· Having to put a “move” date from residential care on the form may put them off or scare applicants – because they do not know this information and are waiting for funding to be approved before they can move.

· The application process, in general, can be overwhelming for those with cognitive problems.  The group were unsure as to what more the ILF could do to avoid this (apart from simplifying forms, etc).

· Comment that the online version of the application form was longer and more complicated than the version being shown to the group.  (Having checked this, the group were using an older form with inserts compared to the online version that is the most up-to-date and contains new figures, etc.  However the differences were superficial and the form is certainly not longer, leading me to believe the person had been viewing the Financial Information form online and was confusing the two).

· Number of pages in the application form is offputting. 

· Group agreed that the form was relatively easy to complete, but the number of pages seemed excessive for the level of information being gathered.  Could it be streamlined?

· Group were asked whether it would be better to streamline the form or to adapt it so that it includes financial assessment questions.  No consensus was reached.

· Comment from one service user was that process was ultimately very worthwhile and that people should be realistic that this information has to be gathered.  Commented that the forms did their job and were reasonable.

Other General Discussion Points

In addition to the workshop about the application form and process, there were presentations followed by a question and answer session.  The attendees (a mix of service users, Social Work professionals, advocates, etc.) put their questions to a panel comprising of representatives of the ILF and the Torbay Care Trust.  What follows is not a full list of the questions and comments, but is a summary of the main talking points and the responses given:

· Where do Social Services break down what is being requested from the ILF on the SSD1000 form?  (ILF explained that the SSD1000 form relates solely to the Social Services contribution and there is no need to detail ILF’s share of the care package on the form, unless a joint package split on a cost basis).

· Is the ILF an excuse for Social Services to pay the bare minimum and get the funding for care packages from other sources?  (Much discussion about this point.  Torbay Care Trust explained that realistically many Local Authorities were very cash-restricted and often could only fund a base level of care.  Encouraging people to access ILF meant that the money saved could at least be spread more widely to help more people in the area, even if that meant it was also spread thinly.  Social Workers felt it was vital that all available resources were used to give service users the proper level of support.  ILF explained that in many cases Social Services did pay more than £200 a week towards a package and also that policy had been introduced to ensure Social Services increased over £250 in order to get extra funding from ILF).

· In what circumstances does the ILF pay for respite care?  (ILF explained that ILF did not pay for residential respite care, but it was clear there were different understandings of the word “respite” among the group.  ILF could, and did, pay for personal assistance during a holiday or for a user to stay with a friend or carer.  ILF suggested that Social Workers should be more imaginative about ways a person’s care needs could be met, as residential respite is not the only way of meeting a need).

· How does ILF view “Supported Living” arrangements?  (ILF explained that ILF had to ensure supported living was not residential care under another name.  Explained that ILF used criteria to assess whether an individual had choice and control over their care arrangements within the supported living environment).

· How does ILF view Trust Fund cases?  (ILF explained that having monies held in trust was not an automatic disqualifier for ILF, but that we would investigate what the trust monies could be used for before making a decision to fund).

· Was it likely ILF would begin allowing applications from people over 65 years old?  (ILF explained that following the recent external review of ILF and recommendations, the initial statement from the Minister had been that recommendations to extend the client base were not being considered).

If you would like to comment on any of the above issues, or find out how you could be involved in future consultations, please email feedback@irfs.org.uk or contact the User Liaison Managers on 0845 601 8815.

 


The Independent Living Funds is now closed 2016
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