New funding for Local Authorities

June 16, 2022

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that more than £15m of funding will be given to local authorities across England, to help LAs implement new social care charging reforms.

The £15.5m will be shared by local authorities to hire additional staff, prepare their workforce, and recruit dedicated IT staff to oversee the implementation of the care accounts.

This is the first portion of funding for local authorities, and further support will be made available later to strengthen capacity and to support implementation of technology that can support charging reform. An additional £2.9m of funding will also be distributed across trailblazer local authorities to cover the costs of implementing charging reform early. The trailblazing authorities are areas that have been selected to ensure any insight, evidence and lessons learned from this initiative will be useful to providers and authorities to support the rollout in all parts of England.

The DHSC promises that wider social care reforms will better integrate the health and care systems, supporting earlier discharge from hospitals into the community and free up hospital beds to increase NHS capacity and tackle the COVID-19 backlogs.

Adult social care charging reform includes a new lifetime cap of £86,000 on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care, alongside a more generous means test for local authority financial support.

From October 2023 no-one starting to receive care will pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime, and no one with assets of less than £20,000 will have to make any contribution from their savings or housing wealth – up from £14,250. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for some means-tested support with an upper limit of more than four times the current limit.

Minister for Care, Gillian Keegan said, ‘Our charging reforms will mean no one will have to face unpredictable and often catastrophic care costs and this new funding will help local authorities to implement these vital changes.

‘We’re committed to fair and high-quality care, and this is the beginning of our journey of reform, creating the next step in making our ambitious plans a reality. We’re working closely with local authorities, providers, and care receivers to deliver a smooth transition into the new system to end unpredictable cost of care for the public.’

Visit the DHSC website for the latest updates and commitments from the Government.

In other news, members of ARCO’s expert Advisory Council have united to publish a new report, highlighting how the Integrated Retirement Community sector can tackle the Net Zero Carbon challenge.

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