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Please note - this consultation has now closed.


Making difficult decisions in adult social care - eligibility and charging consultation

Between September and November 2013, we carried out a public consultation on proposals to raise the eligibility threshold for adult social care, and make some changes to charges.

The consultation was commissioned as a result of the need to find savings in our budget following the comprehensive spending review in December 2012. The proposals that formed the consultation were amongst a number of proposals across the council.

The consultation was considered by the care and independence overview and scrutiny committee on 23 January 2014, and reported to the executive on 4 February 2014. The report to the executive, the full consultation report and the equality impact assessments are available here.

We consulted on the following proposals:

  • To raise the fair access to care services eligibility threshold from moderate and above to substantial and above;
  • Increase the amount of a person's 'disposable income' that goes towards the cost of services from 90 per cent to 100 per cent;
  • Charge for two care workers where needed, rather than just charging for one (as we do now);
  • When we work out how much people should contribute towards their housing related support, we propose to use the same way that we use to work out charges for community based support;
  • Start collecting small weekly contributions of £5 or less (which are not currently collected); and
  • To continue to invest in prevention services to help people stay independent and healthier for longer so that they are less likely to need specialist health and social care support.

From the responses to our questionnaire:

  • 47.4 per cent agreed and 52.6 per cent disagreed with the proposal to raise the fair access to care services eligibility threshold;
  • 36.4 per cent agreed and 63.6 per cent disagreed with the proposal to increase the amount of disposable income taken towards charges;
  • 35.6 per cent agreed and 64.4 per cent disagreed with the proposal to charge for two care workers;
  • 66.3 per cent agreed and 33.7 per cent disagreed with the proposal to change the way charges for Supporting People are worked out;
  • 64.9 per cent agreed and 35.1 per cent disagreed with the proposal to collect small contributions; and
  • 78.8 per cent agreed and 4.3 per cent disagreed that prevention services will help people stay independent for longer (16.9 per cent said they didn't know).

You can pdf icon read a summary of the consultation report here [798kb].

The decision

At its meeting on 4 February 2014, the executive agreed all of the proposals, except the proposal to charge for two care workers.

The record of the decision of the executive is available here.

Next steps

The decision to raise the eligibility threshold to 'substantial' means that some people who are at 'moderate' or below and who currently have social care support funded by the council may not be eligible to receive council funded support in the future. The sorts of services for which funding would no longer be available to people assessed as 'moderate' include home care, home help, direct payments and day services.

However, there will still be some support outside the eligibility criteria to help people stay independent, including reablement, telecare, basic equipment and signposting to other support in the community.

No one's council funded support will be changed without a full reassessment of needs. If, after the reassessment, an individual's support package is to be changed, a support plan will be drawn up and there will be some time to get ready for the change, up to eight weeks. People will be offered help to find alternative services or to make arrangements to continue to use current services (where possible) if they prefer, but will no longer be eligible for council funding and may therefore need to fund these services themselves. People will also be offered help to make sure that they are claiming all the benefits to which they may be entitled.

People approaching adult social care for the first time will be assessed against the new eligibility criteria of 'substantial' or 'critical' from 1 April 2014.

There will still be some help for those who are not eligible for social care. This could include signposting to other sources of advice and support in people's communities, a period of reablement to help people regain independence, some telecare or other equipment to help them stay independent.

If people are affected by the changes to charging for community based support including Supporting People, they will receive notice of the new charge. This won't happen without a means-tested financial assessment, for those who haven't had one or who need a new one.

For those people who have two care workers for some or all of their personal care, the executive decided not to implement the proposal to charge for both care workers. However, during the consultation people told us that sometimes two care workers are not actually needed, for example because the care task could be carried out with one person using a piece of equipment or with some telecare. The executive has therefore asked health and adult services to reassess everyone who currently has two care workers to make sure that their support plan meets their needs, including that of maintaining their independence. The reassessments will take place over the coming year.

If you would like more information, please email

This page was last updated on 24 October 2014