This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Independent Living Fund Consultation'.

_____________________________________________ 
From: Nichola Taylor  
Sent: 03 October 2012 16:21 
To: 'xxx.xxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx' 
Cc: Julie Rashford 
Subject: response to consultation questions - stoke on trent 
 
 
to whom it may concern, please accept the following responses to your consultation questions for 
Stoke on Trent city council ILF contact officer Nichola Taylor  
 
1.  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?[7] This would mean the closure of the ILF in 2015. 
We agree in principle but the question is too simplistic. The answer would depend on 
how the ILF funds would be distributed among authorities and for how long these 
funds would be gauranteed.  
ILF by its very nature is unfair. This is because those authorities who have employed 
workers specifically to draw ILF funds into their authority now have a much higher 
proportion of the funding. This leaves a disparity in service provision between service 
users across the country with the same or similar needs. The fairest system would be 
to apportion the monies according to the number of service users with eligible needs 
per 10k of the population across all authorities. This recognises that some authorities 
would lose funding whilst others would gain.  
ILF funding is also unfair in that it favours service users who accessed before 2010. 
New service users coming through transition and those who have accquired high 
needs due to deterioration in physical health or accident are unable to access 
additional funding. 
Due to the above we are in favour of the redistribution of ILF funds and the 
devolution to local governemnt, however this is dependent on those funds being 
maintained over the forseeable future and you have offerred us no guarantee. 
2.  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 key challenges to our authority are that we have very specific guidelines on 
eligibility (critical and substantial need) and we have a responsibility to meet these 
needs in the spirit of best value. Although service users identified needs would always 
be met we may reduce/change packages to ensure they are cost effective. ILF users 
and their cares would find this very challenging, as have others service users. During 
the recent funding crisis many service users have had to accept change and work 
closely with us to maximise outcomes; to some extent ILF recipients have been 
cossetted from this as their packages have been maintained. This can only be 

mitigated by having assessors working closely with service users over an appropriate 
period of time to ensure the best outcomes are achieved. It can not be rushed. 
The greatest difficulty for ILF users is adapting to the statuory processes that all 
service users adhere to. This includes the annual review process . 
3.  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? 
The greatest impact is a possible reduced level of funding which may decrese in 
future years. Also an increse in complaints due to the possibility of reductions in 
packages and some service users not meeting our eligibility criteria at all. We do not 
have the resources to manage/facilitate the change. Also the authority will be seen as 
the instigators of the changes and will be criticised/abused.  
We would like to see a phased approach to this change where an ILF representative 
works alongside our staff to ensure smooth transition. ILF briefing should take place 
locally where ILF recipients can attend. Where it is identified that a reduction is 
necessary we would like to see this implemented gradually.  
Our authority requirtes additional funding to increase staffing capacity during the 
implementation period. 
4.  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? 
ILF must contact group 1 users and ensure they are willing for the authority to be 
alerted to their existence/needs. ILF then have to co-work these cases with the 
authority to identify and agree their eligible needs and discuss with the service users 
how these can best be met through mainstream care and support systems. 
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? 
 
Always be open and honest with service users and local authorities. We do not want 
any hidden agendas. Everyone must be given plenty of notice for any changes.  
The DWP, 
ILF and local authority must hold regular meetings where ILF users can attend and be a 
valuable part of the change process.