Conflict of Interest in relation to Client Finance/Appointeeship and the possibility that social care charges are unlawful

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Staffordshire County Council,

To whom it may concern

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for, please?

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care charges since 2015?

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector, legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy, fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so, does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week or per year, please?

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

15. In respect of all council clients who are currently in receipt of adult social care services, regarded as liable to pay a charge for their adult social care services, for whom the appointee role is currently undertaken - how is the relevant department holding the appointeeship responsibility proposing to manage the conflict of interest presented by the judgment in the Norfolk CC v SH case in December 2020, given that the decision means that other similar policies are presumptively unlawful? Please answer with a sentence or a paragraph; it is suggested that it is not a proper response to say that no decisions have been made, as yet, because the problem already exists.

Regards
Belinda Schwehr, CEO, CASCAIDr. www.CASCAIDr.org.uk

Staffordshire County Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr,
 
Thank you for your request for information received by Staffordshire
County Council on 19/03/2021.
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days. 

**Coronavirus (COVID-19)**

During the current situation we will try to meet the statutory deadlines
for processing access to information requests. However, it is likely that
resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from
access to information work to deal with priority public services.

Please be patient if you experience delays when making information rights
requests during the pandemic. Where practicable, we will try to notify you
if there is likely to be a delay in being able to provide the information
you have requested.

 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us.
Please remember to quote the case reference number above in any future
communications.
Yours sincerely,
 
Access Team

Staffordshire County Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr,
 
Thank you for your request for information received by Staffordshire
County Council on 19/03/2021.
Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days. 

**Coronavirus (COVID-19)**

During the current situation we will try to meet the statutory deadlines
for processing access to information requests. However, it is likely that
resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from
access to information work to deal with priority public services.

Please be patient if you experience delays when making information rights
requests during the pandemic. Where practicable, we will try to notify you
if there is likely to be a delay in being able to provide the information
you have requested.

 
If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact us.
Please remember to quote the case reference number above in any future
communications.
Yours sincerely,
 
Access Team

Portch, David (Corporate), Staffordshire County Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr

Thank you for your request for information.

Please find information provided by the relevant service team(s) below.

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for, please?

The appointee team are currently looking after benefits for 337 people.

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

73

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

Adult Social care and Safeguarding – ASC Business Support and Appointee Team

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

ACFS (Adult Care Financial Services)

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

NIL

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

NIL

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

NIL

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care charges since 2015?

NIL

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector, legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

NIL

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy, fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

NIL

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so, does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

NO and NO

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week or per year, please?

An administration charge is applied for non-residential appointees at £7.50 per week and for residential appointees at £5 per week but only if the balance of a benefits accounts exceeds £1000

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

The appointee service is a discretionary service. However, Staffordshire County Council does not take on appointeeship for people not eligible under the care act or through safeguarding. The administration charge does not allow for a DRE deduction.

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

NA

15. In respect of all council clients who are currently in receipt of adult social care services, regarded as liable to pay a charge for their adult social care services, for whom the appointee role is currently undertaken - how is the relevant department holding the appointeeship responsibility proposing to manage the conflict of interest presented by the judgment in the Norfolk CC v SH case in December 2020, given that the decision means that other similar policies are presumptively unlawful? Please answer with a sentence or a paragraph; it is suggested that it is not a proper response to say that no decisions have been made, as yet, because the problem already exists.

Staffordshire County Council will continue to monitor national consideration of the issues raised from this judgement and we plan to review our local arrangements in the light of this.

If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority you should contact us in the first instance. Send your comment or complaint to:

Access Manager, Access Team, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Stafford ST16 2DH or email [Staffordshire County Council request email]

If you then have any further comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority, please contact the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Regards
  
David Portch

Access Team
Staffordshire County Council
1 Staffordshire Place
Stafford
ST16 2DH

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Portch, David (Corporate), Staffordshire County Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr

Thank you for your request for information.

Please find information provided by the relevant service team(s) below.

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for, please?
The appointee team are currently looking after benefits for 337 people.

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult social care charges to the council for non-residential services?
73

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?
Adult Social care and Safeguarding – ASC Business Support and Appointee Team

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?
ACFS (Adult Care Financial Services)

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role with regard to appointeeship and care charges?
NIL

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?
NIL

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?
NIL -

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care charges since 2015?
NIL

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector, legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?
NIL

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy, fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s charging policy, since 2015?
NIL

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so, does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?
NO and NO

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week or per year, please?
An administration charge is applied for non-residential appointees at £7.50 per week and for residential appointees at £5 per week but only if the balance of a benefits accounts exceeds £1000

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?
The appointee service is a discretionary service however SCC does not take on appointeeship for people not eligible under the care act or through safeguarding. The administration charge does not allow for a DRE deduction.

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?
NA

15. In respect of all council clients who are currently in receipt of adult social care services, regarded as liable to pay a charge for their adult social care services, for whom the appointee role is currently undertaken - how is the relevant department holding the appointeeship responsibility proposing to manage the conflict of interest presented by the judgment in the Norfolk CC v SH case in December 2020, given that the decision means that other similar policies are presumptively unlawful? Please answer with a sentence or a paragraph; it is suggested that it is not a proper response to say that no decisions have been made, as yet, because the problem already exists.

Staffordshire County Council will continue to monitor national consideration of the issues raised from this judgement and we plan to review our local arrangements in the light of this.

If you have any comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority you should contact us in the first instance. Send your comment or complaint to:

Access Manager, Access Team, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Stafford ST16 2DH or email [Staffordshire County Council request email]

If you then have any further comments relating to how your request has been handled by our authority, please contact the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Regards
  
David Portch

Access Team
Staffordshire County Council
1 Staffordshire Place
Stafford
ST16 2DH

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir