More than £15 million will be granted to local authorities throughout England today (Wednesday, June 15) to assist them in implementing new social care charging changes.
The introduction of pricing reform, which will include a cap on the cost of care and a more generous means test, will result in a surge in demand for extra assessments, necessitating the update of IT systems to record and monitor care accounts.
Local governments will split the £15.5 million to hire more staff, train their workforce, and pay dedicated IT professionals to manage the implementation of the care accounts.
This is the initial round of financing for local governments, with more coming later to help develop capacity and assist the adoption of technology that can help with charging reform.
A further £2.9 million will be distributed among pioneer local authorities to cover the expenses of adopting pricing reform early. The trailblazer authorities have been chosen to ensure that any insights, information, and lessons learnt from this effort will be beneficial to providers and authorities in supporting the spread across England.
During the pandemic, social care workers worked exceptionally hard, and wider social care reforms will increase staff numbers, allowing them to give more community assistance, keeping people out of hospitals and decreasing burden on the NHS.
This is part of a larger package of measures worth £39 billion aimed at clearing Covid backlogs and reforming social care, allowing people to get treatment when they need it in the community while also lowering burden on the NHS.
Adult social care reform involves a new lifetime ceiling of £86,000 on the amount anyone in England will have to spend on personal care, as well as a more generous means test for financial assistance from local authorities.
People in both residential and at-home care will be affected by the new social care charging system, which includes a large increase in public spending. This will guarantee that adult social care is equitable and available to everyone who require it, while also protecting people from unpredictably high care expenses.
Starting in October 2023, no one receiving care will be required to pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime, and no one with assets of less than £20,000 would be required to make any payment from their savings or housing wealth – an increase from £14,250. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for some means-tested assistance, with the highest level more than four times what it is now.