Supporting people who pay for their own support - Bracknell Forest
Bracknell Forest Council is due to offer people who pay for their own support a referral to an a selected organisation that provides advice and guidance to people funding their own care. The organisation has experience of:
- Helping people understand the full range of support options available to them, including support at home and residential options
- Providing support planning and brokerage services
- Providing reviews of the quality of shortlisted support options
- Arranging or providing independent financial advice from a SOLLA-registered financial advisor.
An organisation has been selected according to set criteria, and a referral arrangement will be put in place for those people who wish to take advantage of this service. This arrangement will not create any legal relationship between the organisation and the council, and will be terminated by the council if it proves unsatisfactory.
Who is the service for?
The service will be for people who pay for their own support who make contact with the council looking for information, or who use the intermediate care service, or who come to the attention of the council for other reasons (for example, a stay in hospital). With their permission, the council will refer them directly to the selected support organisation. In addition, information about this opportunity will be made available throughout the community such as in GP surgeries, hospitals and other community venues.
There are a large number of people within Bracknell Forest who could potentially benefit. For example, around 41 per cent of people in care homes in the area currently pay for their own support.
The purpose of the service is to help people who pay for their own support learn what options there are available, decide which is the best for them, identify good quality providers, obtain value for money and manage their finances.
Why is the service being developed?
There are approximately 15,000 people over the age of 65 living in Bracknell Forest. Around one-third of these people will have to pay more than £35,000 to meet their care needs in later life (based on national population data). The council currently provides information about planning and paying for care. However, this service is being developed to provide the opportunity for support in planning and arranging care, and to enable decisions about financial arrangements that protect the person and their family for the future.
This follows research published by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and the Local Government Association (LGA) which found that very few older people seek specialist advice before arranging their own support. Many people do not consider how they will sustain their payments or how to obtain the best return on their assets. Given the potential impact both on older people themselves and on public funds when their money runs out, LGIU and LGA have recommended that councils should have mechanisms in place to help people obtain specialist advice about both support and finances.
Were the people who use services and carers and other key stakeholders involved in setting up this service?
There have been discussions with people in residential care who pay for their own support and also with their carers. The people approached told the council that they would have welcomed support from a specialist organisation when making decisions about their future.
Has the service met the intended outcomes?
The service has not yet commenced, so it is not possible to report on outcomes. Once the service is in place, the provider will be expected to report regularly to the council on referral numbers and outcomes for individual people, and to cooperate with quality monitoring.
Do you have information on costs or savings?
There are no direct financial implications for the council. The support organisation will not receive money from the council, nor will a contract be in place. The organisation provides a range of services, some of which are chargeable. In addition, any Independent Financial Advisor consulted by someone arranging their support will be paid either by the person directly, or through commission added onto the cost of any financial products purchased.
What were the learning points in setting up this service?
It is too soon to conclude what the learning points are, as the service is not yet in place.
Chief Officer: Adults and Joint Commissioning
Adult Social Care, Health and Housing