Herefordshire Council could need at least another £2m for coming adult care costs

Herefordshire Council could need at least another £2m for coming adult care costs

Herefordshire Council could need at least another £2m for coming adult care costs

First published in News
Last updated
Ledbury Reporter: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

CASH-strapped Herefordshire Council could have to find nearly £2m by this time next year to cover future costs coming to adult social care.

Estimates indicate the council needs another £1.9m to cope with the requirements of the Care Bill that should be signed off by parliament to start in April 2015.

A report prepared for the council’s health and well-being board says the extent of additional cost for 2016-17 may even be an underestimate given its calculation using national estimates.

The  board is also warned of:

• Increased demand for assessments for both self-funders and carers with added financial and staffing pressures.

• A potential increase in the number of people becoming entitled to council support with the asset testing threshold raised.

• The need for investment in IT systems capable of managing the Care Bill’s requirements.

• Considerable learning and development required across the whole adult social care workforce

• Decisions needed on what services the council will  charge for.

Currently progressing through legislation, the Care Bill consolidates over a dozen different pieces of legislation that have  developed over the last 60 years into a single law.

If enacted from April next year, the Bill gives adult social care a new legal framework integrating care and support systems and reforming the way these systems are funded.

There  are expected to be around 20 sets of regulations to support the bill, interpreting and embedding these in the county is already acknowledged as a “significant” task with the council facing  “significant” risk if statutory requirements cannot be met.

For the council, the changes required have to be considered in the context of well documented financial and demand risk factors that already affect adult social care.

From an aging population to a rise in younger  adults with complex disabilities.

Analysis of  potential additional costs is not yet complete but a calculation using national cost estimates indicates the £1.9m figure.

However, this may be understated as the county has a higher proportion of self-funders than the national average.

A cap will limit the amount clients have to contribute to their care to £72,000 for over 65s.

This will have a big impact on council budgets given the estimated 70% of all residential and nursing care beds in the county are occupied by 1,000-1,100 self funders.

Initial financial impact will be created by a surge in demand from self-funders applying to have their eligibility assessed so that a care account can be created.

Again, using national estimates, this could create a pressure of around £600k.

Of more urgent concern to the council - as a budget pressure for 2016/17 - is the raising of the capital asset  threshold from the of £23k to £118k.

A number of people currently funding their own care are likely to fall below the new threshold and, if their needs are eligible, will  immediately become entitled to council support.

The number of people this may affect is not currently known. The council has no current requirement to track this information and acknowledges a need for “urgent work”  to evaluate the potential cost.

Requirements to undertake assessments for both self-funders and carers is likely to create a  significant financial pressure over the year leading up to the care cap.

There are wide ranging implications in the Bill for the council’s IT and case management systems, particularly in holding, maintaining and reporting data on groups that the council has so far had little or no contact  with - such as self funders.

The provider of the present system has already begun to develop upgrades and solutions that fit the Bill.

Against this, the council faces a key strategic decision - required within the next month - to agree an IT strategy that can support future case management.

In March, a budget monitoring report had adult well being  on course for a £3m overspend by the end of the 2013-14 financial year having spent some £70m.

Comments (4)

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4:10pm Fri 16 May 14

jarvis 2 says...

for the love of god they could save that in the drop of a hat stop re vamping perfictly good properies like plough lane stop having away days for the cheif stop wasting money on balfour bettie bring the work back in house run it properly ( mind running it propely would be had for this outfit) employee people fit for the job and want what is best for hereford not just themselves
for the love of god they could save that in the drop of a hat stop re vamping perfictly good properies like plough lane stop having away days for the cheif stop wasting money on balfour bettie bring the work back in house run it properly ( mind running it propely would be had for this outfit) employee people fit for the job and want what is best for hereford not just themselves jarvis 2
  • Score: 4

8:55pm Fri 16 May 14

flamboyant says...

Well said Jarvis2 more money saving tips to follow!


Reduce the management structure and 're-evaluate all salaries above 25,000. Trust me there isn't a single manager working in the Council worth a salary greater than that. Most of these managers are working from home and standards slipped long ago, they spend their days working on strategies to reduce front line staff and justify a pay rise! For God's sake look at the number off staff who have had an increase in salary since the restructuring started. Put a freeze on increases in salary the front line staff won't desert you! Remove Geoff Hughes he is not worth a salary of 120,000 Jenny Lewis left a month ago and trust me the only impact was a saving of 70,000 plus! There are positions created under their management that need a serious look, the title of some of these posts brings a tear to your eyes! I would say you couldn't make it up but you can and they did. The next saving to be made is on flexii time it doesn't work it's not monitored and seriously abused. There are staff members racking up at least two days a month! Do the math that's a lot of money. It's a farce they are trying to negotiate an extra two days a year unpaid leave to save money but cutting the flexible working bringing staff into the office every day and making them clock in and out would save a small fortune and lead to increased productivity. The planning department is a total joke and don't get me started on trying to contact a listed building officer it's impossible I've been trying for 4 months!! Next kick your HR staff up the backside if there are people on persistent sick leave dismiss them the sick pay system is being abused because your HR department are weak! Whilst their are times when people are genuinely sick there is a lot of abuse of the current system!

There you go Herefordshire Council I've saved you a small fortune you can back off the front line staff ! The savings identified above will save at least 20!!
Well said Jarvis2 more money saving tips to follow! Reduce the management structure and 're-evaluate all salaries above 25,000. Trust me there isn't a single manager working in the Council worth a salary greater than that. Most of these managers are working from home and standards slipped long ago, they spend their days working on strategies to reduce front line staff and justify a pay rise! For God's sake look at the number off staff who have had an increase in salary since the restructuring started. Put a freeze on increases in salary the front line staff won't desert you! Remove Geoff Hughes he is not worth a salary of 120,000 Jenny Lewis left a month ago and trust me the only impact was a saving of 70,000 plus! There are positions created under their management that need a serious look, the title of some of these posts brings a tear to your eyes! I would say you couldn't make it up but you can and they did. The next saving to be made is on flexii time it doesn't work it's not monitored and seriously abused. There are staff members racking up at least two days a month! Do the math that's a lot of money. It's a farce they are trying to negotiate an extra two days a year unpaid leave to save money but cutting the flexible working bringing staff into the office every day and making them clock in and out would save a small fortune and lead to increased productivity. The planning department is a total joke and don't get me started on trying to contact a listed building officer it's impossible I've been trying for 4 months!! Next kick your HR staff up the backside if there are people on persistent sick leave dismiss them the sick pay system is being abused because your HR department are weak! Whilst their are times when people are genuinely sick there is a lot of abuse of the current system! There you go Herefordshire Council I've saved you a small fortune you can back off the front line staff ! The savings identified above will save at least 20!! flamboyant
  • Score: 2

12:42pm Sat 17 May 14

William Rudd says...

Just seen that Worcester County Council are to put 85% of all its services out to private tender by 2018.With Balfour Beatty taking a huge profit from doing sweet FA maybe it's time for Herefordshire Council to do the same.
Just seen that Worcester County Council are to put 85% of all its services out to private tender by 2018.With Balfour Beatty taking a huge profit from doing sweet FA maybe it's time for Herefordshire Council to do the same. William Rudd
  • Score: 2

8:01am Sun 18 May 14

Hereford person says...

Don't forget Councillors while some do a good job there are now more than wanted. With BB doing what they want what can a councillor do to help their constituents. This is the same in the council officers and the cabinet make all the decisions with no input from the remaining fifty Councillors.
Don't forget Councillors while some do a good job there are now more than wanted. With BB doing what they want what can a councillor do to help their constituents. This is the same in the council officers and the cabinet make all the decisions with no input from the remaining fifty Councillors. Hereford person
  • Score: 2

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