22.1 The Chair introduced the item, setting out that the report was the next stage of the Committee’s engagement in the annual RPPR process and noting that the Committee was asked to consider if any further work or information was required to aid the Committee’s December RPPR Board. The Director of Adult Social Care and Chief Finance Officer then introduced the report which set out the Council’s latest policy and financial position in planning for the 2022/23 financial year.
22.2 Further guidance on the national ASC reforms announced in September (introducing a lifetime cap on personal care costs and more generous means-test for local authority financial support) had been published. The Director of Adult Social Care gave a verbal update to the Committee on the further detail provided, which covered:
· Social care allowances - from April 2022, the Minimum Income Guarantee for those receiving care in their own homes and the Personal Expenses Allowance for care home residents would be un-frozen and rise in line with inflation. Effectively, this would mean that people would need to contribute slightly less to the cost of their care.
· Daily Living Costs – the lifetime cap on personal care costs would not cover Daily Living Costs for people in care homes. For simplicity, Daily Living Costs would be set at a national, notional £200 per week. The ASC Department had some concerns this rate did not truly reflect living costs (a national proposal in 2015 had suggested this figure should be £230 per week) and could, as a result, increase the proportion of care home fees local authorities would need to resource.
· Cap implementation –
o from October 2023, anyone assessed by a local authority as having eligible care needs would begin to progress towards the £86,000 lifetime care cap. For each person with eligible needs, the local authority must provide either a personal budget, where the local authority would meet the person’s needs, or an independent personal budget (IPB), where the individual would arrange their own care. The personal budget would set out the cost to the local authority of the care they had arranged, whereas the IPB would set out what it would have cost the local authority to meet the person’s needs. In order to do this, every local authority would need to determine affordable care rates for their area. This also meant that, in practice, people being assessed for care in an area with high care rates would reach the care cap much faster than areas with lower rates.
o Local authorities would be required to set up care accounts to track individuals’ progress towards the care cap, with guidance placing the legal responsibility on local authorities to tell people when they had reached the cap. This made it vital for ESCC to ensure that there was a robust system in place for tracking personal care costs and informing people when they reached the cap.
22.3 The Director and Chief Finance Officer concluded that, on initial assessment, the ... view the full minutes text for item 22
12.1 The report was introduced by Philip Baker (Assistant Chief Executive). He outlined that this is the start of scrutiny’s engagement in the budget setting process for 2022/23 and beyond. The State of the County report considered by Cabinet in July set out the detailed financial planning context for rest of the year and beyond. However, the financial and policy position remains one of uncertainty and there have been a number of developments since July which will be covered in a RPPR report to Cabinet in September 2021. There have also been a number of significant Government announcements which include:
12.2 The Committee discussed the report and a summary of the key points discussed is set out below.