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The local authority has a duty to meet care needs

The Care Act 2014 sets out very clearly that a local authority has a during to meet an adult's care and support needs if they reach the established eligibility criteria. If you:-

  • are ordinarily resident in the local authority area;

  • have costs that do not exceed the care cap;

  • have a financial assessment which shows you are below the financial limits set out;

  • are asking the local authority to meet your needs; or

  • lack capacity to arrange for your care

This means that they should arrange the care that you need and in some circumstances fund the care required.

Everyone is eligible to ask for the local authority to meet their needs but often, when it is discovered that you are self funding you are left to organise care yourself. This is due to change in October 2023.

As we all know social services and local authorities are under increasing pressure with staff and budget management. This may be about to worsen as the Care Act is expected to increase the workload on social services by approximately 105,000 additional assessments. This is because self funders will be able to ask the local authority to organise their care in a care home. This will allow self funders to then take advantage of the local authority's agreed fee rates, which are usually much lower than self funding rates.

The majority of homes charge a higher fee to self funding residents to help with the reduced costs they receive for local authority supported residents. It is common knowledge that the rate paid by local authorities is considered insufficient and unsustainable for care homes.

Many of the homes we work with are worried about what the future holds and how the quality of care provided will be affected.

This is going to be an important area to watch in the coming year to see how the local authority deals with the additional care assessments but also how many people are told about the option to receive lower care charges and the way this is received by the care homes.

If you are worried about care advice please do not do this on your own. Talk to the Argo team as we can help you and take those worries away. Call us on 01622 843729 for more information.

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