03 October 2012 16:21 To:
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? 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
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
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
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.
ILF and local authority must hold regular meetings where ILF users can attend and be a
valuable part of the change process.