We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Joe Tomlinson please sign in and let everyone know.

Care costs and deliberate deprivation of assets

Joe Tomlinson made this Freedom of Information request to West Sussex County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

We're waiting for Joe Tomlinson to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear West Sussex County Council,

I am interested in the how you are using deprivation of assets powers (as provided in Regulation 22(1) of the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014) in relation to financial assessments for care costs. Please provide responses to all of the following questions. If that is not possible within the limits of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or because you do not hold the specific data requested, then please still provide all possible answers.

(1) For each of the last five years, how many financial assessments have you undertaken in relation to care costs?

(2) For each of the last five years, what is the average time taken to conclude financial assessments?

(3) For each of the last five years, in how many financial assessments did you conclude there had been a deliberate deprivation of assets?

(4) For each of the last five years, what is the overall sum you have recovered through identifying deliberately deprived assets?

(5) Do all of your communicated decisions regarding financial assessments inform the applicant of: (a) any right of appeal or review; and (b) their right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman?

(6) For each of the last five years, how many appeals have there been from financial assessment decisions?

(7) Please can you provide any internal training materials used which relate to deliberate deprivation of assets?

Best wishes,

Joe

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

Dear Joe Tomlinson

Thank you for your request which has been assigned reference FOI/421

Care cost financial assessment data for the previous 5 years

If you have submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), we will aim to
respond within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, i.e. by or on
30/01/2020.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please reply
to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.

Yours sincerely,
West Sussex County Council

 

Did you make your request via our online form at
[1]https://foi.infreemation.co.uk/westsusse... If not, why not use it
in future for a simple and convenient way to make FOI requests.

References

Visible links
1. https://foi.infreemation.co.uk/westsusse...

westsussex@infreemation.co.uk, West Sussex County Council

Dear Joe Tomlinson

Our Ref: FOI/421

 

On 2 January 2020 you made the following request for information, which
has been dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

I am interested in the how you are using deprivation of assets powers
(as provided in Regulation 22(1) of the Care and Support (Charging and
Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014) in relation to financial
assessments for care costs. Please provide responses to all of the
following questions. If that is not possible within the limits of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 or because you do not hold the specific
data requested, then please still provide all possible answers.

 

(1) For each of the last five years, how many financial assessments have
you undertaken in relation to care costs?

 

(2) For each of the last five years, what is the average time taken to
conclude financial assessments?

 

(3) For each of the last five years, in how many financial assessments
did you conclude there had been a deliberate deprivation of assets?

 

(4) For each of the last five years, what is the overall sum you have
recovered through identifying deliberately deprived assets?

 

(5) Do all of your communicated decisions regarding financial
assessments inform the applicant of: (a) any right of appeal or review;
and (b) their right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman?

 

(6) For each of the last five years, how many appeals have there been
from financial assessment decisions?

 

(7) Please can you provide any internal training materials used which
relate to deliberate deprivation of assets?

 

We have now completed a search for the information which you requested and
confirm that this Authority holds some data relevant to your request.
 

The response to your request is as follows:

1) For each of the last five years, how many financial assessments have
you undertaken in relation to care costs?

The Authority holds data for the last three years only.

2017 - new financial assessments - 3163; financial re-assessments - 949

2018 - new financial assessments - 5543; financial re-assessments - 1842

2019 - new financial assessments - 5659; financial re-assessments - 2769

2020 (to date) new financial assessments - 152; financial re-assessments -

 

2) For each of the last five years, what is the average time taken to
conclude financial assessments?

The Authority holds data for the last three years only.

2017 - 27.8 working days

2018 - 19.5 working days

2019 - 13.45 working days

2020 - 12.4 working days

 

3) For each of the last five years, in how many financial assessments did
you conclude there had been a deliberate deprivation of assets?

Financial assessments do not conclude whether a deliberate deprivation of
assets has occurred.

Concerns regarding potential deliberate deprivation of assets are flagged
at assessments, for a determination to be made. Prior to 2019 this was
undertaken by operations managers. In order to obtain the requested
information for this period the Authority would be required to interrogate
individual care records.

We estimate that the costs of this process would exceed the appropriate
limit of £450 as specified in Regulations and representing the estimated
cost of one person spending 2.5 working days in locating, retrieving and
extracting the information. Therefore the costs exemption in section 12 of
the Freedom of Information Act is triggered.

 A deprivation of assets panel was established in 2019. Of the 27
potential cases considered by the panel, 19 were deemed to be a deliberate
deprivation of assets.

 

4) For each of the last five years, what is the overall sum you have
recovered through identifying deliberately deprived assets?

The Authority does not hold this data. It records only income or debt
received.

 

5) Do all of your communicated decisions regarding financial assessments
inform the applicant of: (a) any right of appeal or review; and (b) their
right to contact the Local Government Ombudsman?

Yes - these are referenced in the deprivation of assets decision outcome
letter.

6) For each of the last five years, how many appeals have there been from
financial assessment decisions?

There are two possible routes for people to challenge the outcome of their
financial assessment. Numbers for both as recorded in the years you have
asked about are given below.

One route is an Appeal. This is only available for certain types of
decision and is explained [1]here. Whilst most appeals include an element
of finance, this is not always the case. The numbers quoted may therefore
include some appeals which did not have a financial element. In 2015 and
2016 appeals were usually handled direct by the service team, so that most
appeals were not recorded centrally. These would have been recorded on the
individual service file. To identify the information in your request held
in these records would therefore require manual examination of all service
records for the time. We estimate that the costs of this process would
exceed the appropriate limit of £450 as specified in Regulations and
representing the estimated cost of one person spending 2.5 working days in
locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Therefore the costs
exemption in section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act is triggered.The
figures given are therefore only those which were centrally recorded.

The alternative route is to complain. The council groups complaints about
financial assessment and charging together. The numbers quoted for
complaints below therefore represent complaints recorded as financial
assessment/charging. These have been filtered to represent complaints
where the major element was the financial assessment.  

Year Appeals Complaints
2019 29 9
2018 26 23
2017 27 14
2016 6 7
2015 0 1

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by us will be copyright of West Sussex County Council.

7)  Please can you provide any internal training materials used which
relate to deliberate deprivation of assets?

This information is publicly available on the Professional Zone of the
West Sussex Connect to Support website and can be accessed via the
following links:
[2]Deprivation of assets practice guidance
[3]Deprivation of assets process map

Information you receive which is not subject to WSCC continues to be
protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the
information originated. You must ensure that you gain their permission
before reproducing any third party (non WSCC) information.

If you have any queries about any of this information please contact me
 by responding to this email. Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you may
wish to ask for a review of our decision  by responding to this email.
Please do not amend the Subject line.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally,
the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our internal
review procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

[4]www.ico.org.uk; or

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Yours sincerely

James

References

Visible links
1. https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/social-car...
2. https://www.westsussexconnecttosupport.o...
3. https://www.westsussexconnecttosupport.o...
4. http://www.ico.org.uk/

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Joe Tomlinson please sign in and let everyone know.