Please could you let me know if you have responded to the
Governments consultation on the proposed closure of the Independent Living
If you have, please could you provide me with your responses to the
questions within that consultation.
Comments on the Consultation on the closure of the ILF (LB Havering)
Do you agree with the Government’s proposal that the care and support needs of
current ILF users should be met within the mainstream care and support system, with
funding devolved to local government in England and the devolved administrations in
Scotland and Wales? This would mean the closure of the ILF in 2015
Since the suspension of new awards in 2010, Havering Adult Services has been
contacted by at least 50% of ILF users due to shortfalls in care packages which
would normally have been referred to the ILF. Potential future shortfalls have also
been identified at regular reviews. Typically, the additional costs to Havering are
around 3% of the overall joint care packages.
Devolving funding is a logical development towards Individual Budgets. There is no
good reason why a separate fund should be paying for part of someone’s assessed
care needs, particularly where it potentially creates perverse incentives because it
sets an entry threshold based on levels of LA funding. Also it complicates the use of
the RAS and the administration of DP’s because part of the resources available are
accountable through a different system. This is further complicated by the fact that
there are differing eligibility rules operating even within ILF.
What are the key challenges that ILF users would face in moving from joint ILF/Local
Authority to sole Local Authority funding of their care and support needs? How can any
impacts be mitigated?
The challenges are many, broadly they are:
1. Clear and early information is needed on current ILF users, where
users are already known to the LA then these will fall into two main
groups – current DP users and those receiving traditional packages.
Reassessments will be needed and wherever possible arrangements
put in place to replace ILF with DP’s. This may not be straightforward
and therefore adequate time and resourcing (staff capacity) needs to
be in place. It may also be that existing arrangements made through
ILF do not conform to the LA’s requirements e.g. regular employment
of family members or auditable records of expenditure.
2. There will be a group of users category 1 ILF users who may not be
known or are not in receipt of LA support. These will need to be
assessed and there are risks if there is a clear variation between the
assessed need and the ILF funded service.
3. The LA’s financial arrangements for DP’s will need to be explained and
support to users offered to comply. Certain items may present
obstacles such as the use of the 10% retention which has not applied
to ILF (it may be that the LA will need to agree interim requirements for
ILF transfers). The arrangements that are used by ILF for accounts,
inflation, audit etc. will need to be examined.
4. There is a real financial risk to the LA (& ASC) if the full value of the
current ILF users is not transferred in a transparent way. In future years
this risk could grow given the potential for suppressed demand that
may come forward given the stopping of new ILF grants in 2010.
Therefore transparent funding needs to be in place.
5. There is some evidence that ILF funding has not reflected actual need
but rather local knowledge of this funding route. Havering appears to
be about the Norm for LA’s but there may be pressure from others for
6. ILF users have some services funded by the ILF which do not fall
within FACS (Fairer Access to Care Services) criteria. Normally,
Havering Adult Services would not fund these services. Some ILF
users fund FACS eligible services at above the local authority agreed
rates. If FACS is not to be applied to these services, some limited form
of ring fencing for some individual users identified services may need
to be agreed.
What impact would the closure of the ILF have on Local Authorities and the provision of
care and support services more widely? How could any impacts be mitigated?
As stated above, early and accurate information about current usage; a transparent
transfer of all the monies; additional capacity to carry out reassessments and putting in
place new DP arrangements and clarity about the ongoing funding mechanism. The ILF
have had a different financial assessment structure to local authorities. In most cases,
this means that users will not contribute as much to their services. The ILF expect that
users will contribute 50% of their DLA Care Component to their support services. ILF
financial assessments also include partner’s income and savings. This should be taken
into account in the funding that local authorities are provided with, to support any transfer
of care services.
What are the specific challenges in relation to Group 1 users? How can the
Government ensure this group are able to access the full range of Local
Authority care and support services for which they are eligible?
As stated in the answer to question 2, the urgent task is to carry out
reassessments and scope the potential difficulties. These are likely to be
specific and particular to each individual. Although it is likely that Havering
Adult Services are supporting some, if not all of the Group 1 users, the ILF do
not, as a rule, identify individual Group 1 users to local authorities, or how
much their awards are. Therefore, it is difficult to know what level of support
they are currently receiving from ILF funding. The same considerations will
apply in terms of FACS criteria and any proposed ring funding of non FACS
services. Question 5
How can DWP, the ILF and Local Authorities best continue to work with ILF
users between now and 2015? How can the ILF best work with individual
Local Authorities if the decision to close the ILF is taken?
The DWP needs to agree a clear communication strategy and materials with
LA representatives and arrangements for dealing with queries and questions.
Early information for LA’s about the make up of their local user population is
also essential. Once options around transferring funds to local authorities
have been formalised, individual ILF users may require assessment by local
authorities, DWP and any transitional body representing the ILF. The resulting
joint assessment should indicate a transition pathway for each individual.
According to the information received Havering has 49 current ILF recipients
receiving in total £820k per year (this equates to £16,813 per head). This
compares to a London average of 50 users receiving £17,126 per head.
Across the whole UK the average is £16,686.