Mark Conrad 22 May 2017

Councils' approach to deferred payments could put social care plans at risk

Councils approach to deferred payments could put social care plans at risk image

The wide variation in the way councils use deferred payments for social care costs could put the Conservative’s new plans on ‘shaky foundations’, a former minister has warned.

The Conservative Party last week outlined a flagship manifesto pledge to make greater use of deferred payments to claw-back care costs from the value of family homes.

However, Steve Webb, a former Liberal Democrat minister in the Coalition government, said some councils have not entered into a single claw-back deal with residents.

He added that take-up for the scheme has been ‘patchy’ since it was introduced in 2015.

Mr Webb is now director of policy at Royal London insurance, which recently sent Freedom of Information requests sent to all 150 local authorities with care responsibilities.

FOI responses gleaned from 140 local authorities show that ten councils – including eight London boroughs – have not offered a deferred payment deal to any residents since 2015. A further 12 London boroughs have signed just a handful of claw-back deals.

Mr Webb said: ‘It is clear that there is already a lottery as to whether people facing significant care costs can exercise their legal right to defer their payments under the scheme.

‘Some local authorities clearly promote the scheme and alert residents to their legal rights whilst others appear not to be doing so.’

He warned the current Government that it must understand why the system is not working properly, or risk building a new care payments system on ‘shaky foundations’.

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue