Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

P. Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Havering Borough Council

The request was partially successful.

From: P. Smith

23 March 2011

Dear Havering Borough Council,

An elderly friend who lives alone in Havering, in her own house, is
housebound and bedbound, and has carers coming in 4 times a day,
which she pays for. She could not remain in her home without them.

She has just received a letter from Havering Council saying that
her charges are going up by ONE THIRD. She is very alarmed.

Please can you give all the reasons for this MASSIVE increase in
care charges for local vulnerable elderly residents.

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

23 March 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

Acknowledgement of Information Request - Care Charges for Elderly
Residents

I acknowledge receipt of your request for information received on 23rd
March 2011. Your email is being considered and you will receive a response
to your request as soon as possible.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows authorities 20 working days,
following date of receipt, in which to respond to requests. You may be
aware the legislation defines a number of exemptions which may prevent
release of the information you have requested. If any of the exemption
categories apply then the information will not be released. In these
cases, we will inform you of any exemptions we have applied together with
our reasons for withholding the information and your rights of appeal.

Please bear in mind the legislation allows access to information 'held' by
the Council and not for the creation of new information or opinion.
Therefore, we may only be able to supply documents or data that contain
the information we hold in response to your request.

There may be a fee payable for the supply of information. This will be
calculated and you will be informed if a charge applies. In this event,
the fee must be paid before the information is released.

If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Further information regarding the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is
available from the following address:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
[1]www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely
Ms. Lee

 

Information Governance Team
Legal & Democratic Services
Town Hall
London Borough of Havering
Email: [2][Havering Borough Council request email]

 

Living Ambition - aiming for the highest quality of life in London
[3]www.havering.gov.uk/livingambition
 

 

"This email and any files transmitted with it are the property of the LB
Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal privilege and are
intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure is
strictly prohibited.
If you receive this email in error, please notify the sender immediately
and delete this email from your system.

WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to ensure
this email and any attachments to it are free of viruses."

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal
privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. mailto:[Havering Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.havering.gov.uk/livingambition

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

18 April 2011

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Access to Information - Care charges for elderly residents

 

I refer to your recent request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.  Your request has been considered and Social Care &
Learning have provided the following response:-

 

In the last few weeks we have issued letters to all users of
non-residential care services to advise them of recent agreed changes to
the Council's fairer charging policy, which impacts on how we charge for
all non-residential care services.  In addition, we have also issued
letters to all current users of chargeable services advising of their new
assessed rates for 2011/12, and further to this we are always reassessing
service users to reflect changes in their personal
circumstances. Therefore,  I am not sure which of these 3 initiatives
applies to this individual.

 

If your friend would like to contact Adam Ferrand, Financial Assessment
and Benefits Team Manager, on 01708 433013 or write to him at London
Borough of Havering, Scimitar House, 23 Eastern Road, Romford, RM1 3NH,
the case could be looked into for this person and checked again.

 

I trust the information is of use to you and will close your request.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has been
handled you have the right to make a complaint.  Please put the details in
writing and return to me at the above email address, your complaint will
then be dealt with in line with our corporate complaints procedure.  You
also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner at the
following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow 
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF
Telephone:   01625 545 700
[1]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs Lynch

Information Governance Team

 

For and on behalf of C. J. Dooley

Assistant Chief Executive

Legal and Democratic Services

London Borough of Havering

 

Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Essex RM1 3BD

 

Tel. 01708 433173

 

 

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal
privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
ensure this e-mail and any attachments to it are free from viruses.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Link to this

From: P. Smith

27 April 2011

Dear Accessinfo,

The person in question is 80, cannot walk, so has carers coming in
4 times a day.

Her fees for care in the home have gone up by ONE THIRD. Why?

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

3 May 2011

Dear Ms Smith

Access to Information Request - Refusal Notice Repeated Request

My records show that the specific information you require has been supplied previously under our ref AIR3945P on 18th April 2011 and I understand that the service prvided you with a telephone number to contact for further information.

In accordance with Section 14(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice as it is considered that your request is a ‘repeated request’ under the legislation. The Council does not consider that a reasonable interval between your requests has elapsed and the information previously supplied is unchanged.

You have the right of appeal against our decision. If you wish to appeal please set out in writing your grounds of appeal and send to the above address. Please ensure that you quote our reference on any correspondence to us.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has been handled you have the right to make a complaint. Please put the details in writing and return to me at this email address, your complaint will then be dealt with in line with our corporate complaints procedure. You also have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 27 April 2011 13:33
To: Accessinfo
Subject: Re: AIR3945P Request for information

Dear Accessinfo,

The person in question is 80, cannot walk, so has carers coming in
4 times a day.

Her fees for care in the home have gone up by ONE THIRD. Why?

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Sir/Madam

Access to Information - Care charges for elderly residents

I refer to your recent request for information made under the
Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Your request has been considered and Social
Care &
Learning have provided the following response:-

In the last few weeks we have issued letters to all users of
non-residential care services to advise them of recent agreed
changes to
the Council's fairer charging policy, which impacts on how we
charge for
all non-residential care services. In addition, we have also
issued
letters to all current users of chargeable services advising of
their new
assessed rates for 2011/12, and further to this we are always
reassessing
service users to reflect changes in their personal
circumstances. Therefore, I am not sure which of these 3
initiatives
applies to this individual.

If your friend would like to contact Adam Ferrand, Financial
Assessment
and Benefits Team Manager, on 01708 433013 or write to him at
London
Borough of Havering, Scimitar House, 23 Eastern Road, Romford, RM1
3NH,
the case could be looked into for this person and checked again.

I trust the information is of use to you and will close your
request.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has
been
handled you have the right to make a complaint. Please put the
details in
writing and return to me at the above email address, your
complaint will
then be dealt with in line with our corporate complaints
procedure. You
also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner at
the
following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
[1]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Mrs Lynch

Information Governance Team

For and on behalf of C. J. Dooley

Assistant Chief Executive

Legal and Democratic Services

London Borough of Havering

Town Hall, Main Road, Romford

Essex RM1 3BD

Tel. 01708 433173

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of
the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to
legal
privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named
above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or
disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please
notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
ensure this e-mail and any attachments to it are free from
viruses.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

-------------------------------------------------------------------
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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #66213 email]

If you find WhatDoTheyKnow useful as an FOI officer, please ask
your web manager to suggest us on your organisation's FOI page.
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This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
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hide quoted sections

Link to this

From: P. Smith

3 May 2011

Dear Accessinfo,

I do not wish to make a telephone call about a specific person.

I would like to know in general why such fees have gone up by ONE
THIRD - IN WRITING please, on this web site, so that everybody can
see your explanation.

Mant thanks,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

3 May 2011

Dear Ms Smith

Internal reviews are carried out when exemptions have been applied to responses and this is not the case in this instance.

However, I have forwarded your email to Social Care and they have advised me that they will contact you direct.

I trust that this is satisfactory.

Yours sincerely
Mrs Lynch

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 03 May 2011 14:41
To: Accessinfo
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Accessinfo,

I do not wish to make a telephone call about a specific person.

I would like to know in general why such fees have gone up by ONE
THIRD - IN WRITING please, on this web site, so that everybody can
see your explanation.

Mant thanks,

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms Smith

Access to Information Request - Refusal Notice Repeated Request

My records show that the specific information you require has been
supplied previously under our ref AIR3945P on 18th April 2011 and I
understand that the service prvided you with a telephone number to
contact for further information.

In accordance with Section 14(2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000, this letter acts as a refusal notice as it is considered that
your request is a ‘repeated request’ under the legislation. The
Council does not consider that a reasonable interval between your
requests has elapsed and the information previously supplied is
unchanged.

You have the right of appeal against our decision. If you wish to
appeal please set out in writing your grounds of appeal and send to
the above address. Please ensure that you quote our reference on
any correspondence to us.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has been
handled you have the right to make a complaint. Please put the
details in writing and return to me at this email address, your
complaint will then be dealt with in line with our corporate
complaints procedure. You also have the right to appeal to the
Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

Yours sincerely

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offic...

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #66213 email]

If you find WhatDoTheyKnow useful as an FOI officer, please ask
your web manager to suggest us on your organisation's FOI page.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
ensure this e-mail and any attachments to it are free from viruses.

hide quoted sections

Link to this

From: P. Smith

9 May 2011

Dear Accessinfo,

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

12 May 2011

Dear Ms Smith

 

I am writing in response to your e-mail dated 3rd May 2011 sent to the
[1][email address] , the contents of which have been duly
noted.

 

Your query has been passed to me in my capacity as Financial Assessment &
Benefits Team Manager.  I did previously draft a response to your initial
query where I asked for more details as your information request was very
vague.

 

In the absence of specific details which would allow me to explain very
succinctly why the individual in question's fees have increased by a
third, I can only give you details of the recent changes to the Council's
charging policy and other action taken by the Council that impacted on
client charging.  Please be advised that the majority of this information
will probably not be applicable to the individual you are asking about but
these are the only changes we have made that have impacted on charging.

 

Firstly, there has been no change to the hourly charge for home care
services since April 2009, but all service users are subject to means
tested financial assessments so any increases in their charge will be
primarily down to changes in their income and personal circumstances.  The
Council has just undertaken its annual review of client charges, which we
complete every March to reflect the increase in pension and benefit rates,
so each service users subject to charge will have had their assessed
charge increase applicable from 11th April 2001, which is the start of the
new financial year and the date from which new benefit and pension rates
apply.

 

In addition the Council has made changes to its fairer charging policy,
which is the policy that establishes what non-residential care services we
charge for, at what rate we charge and how we calculate an individuals
liability.  The following changes to the policy were made and do apply
from 11th April 2011;

·        Increase in Meals on Wheels fees to £4.99 per meal – was £3.76
per meal.  This is a set charge applicable to all users and not subject to
assessment.

·        Increase in minimum charge for non-residential care services from
£1 to £2.50 per week – this will reduce admin costs as we will now only be
issuing invoices of a minimum of £10 per 4 weeks.  This saw about 29 users
who previously made small contributions be reassessed as nil charge
payers.

·        Increase in cap on maximum rates of charges from £240 per week to
£320 per week – regardless of the cost of the care package £320 will be
the maximum charge applied to users assessed as liable to pay the full
cost.  If people chose not to disclose any information at all no cap
applies and they will be charge the full amount of their care.

·        Introduction of charge of £40 per day for Day Centre services –
previously the service cost users £1.34 per day despite a cost to the
Council between £60 and £88 per day.  It is anticipated that 60% of all
day care users will be assessed as nil charge and only 15% liable to pay
the full cost.  These charges will apply from 6th June 2011.

·        Introduction of charge of £5 per return journey for transport to
day centres – previously this service was provided free of charge. 
Individual liability will be subject to an assessment.

·        Reduction from 15% to 10% in proportion of net assessable income
considered when applying charge for non-residential care services – this
allowance is not statutory and is one the Council providers on a
discretionary basis.  The reduction will see a small increase for users
who are assessed to make a contribution to their care fees.

·        Introduction of cap of £73.40 per week (equal to higher rate of
Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance) in financial assessments
for allowable disability related expenses – previously we allowed any
disclosed expenses incurred by an individual which means in some cases we
are actually allowing more expenses than an individual has in income. 
This cap will stop this inequality in the assessment process and will
ensure that individuals in a position to pay for their care do start
paying.  An appeal process has been put in place so people can request
greater allowances in unique circumstances.

 

Prior to these changes being made the Council undertook a three month
consultation in order to gather feedback from the users of the affected
services as to the proposed changes.  This consultation involved issuing
questionnaires to all users of services, or where appropriate their
financial representatives or appointed third parties, affected by the
policy.  In addition the Council sought the feedback of carers groups
within the borough, as well as advocacy groups, and where requested
officers visited customers homes to explain the proposed changes and
assist with the completion of the form and open sessions were held at
Romford Town Hall on a weekly basis for 4 weeks for people to offer
feedback regarding the proposed changes.

 

All feedback gathered from this consultation process was submitted to the
appropriate Council members who made the final decisions on what policy
changes were to be made.  Please be advised that all details of the
Consultation and the changes to the policy are on the Council's website.

 

I can only assume from your request that the policy change that impacts on
the person you have raised this query for is the increase in the weekly
maximum charge from £240 per week to £320 per week.  Although this
increase is substantial this only applies to service users who have
declared having savings in excess of the Department of Health set
threshold of £23,250 and are in receipt of care packages costing in excess
of £320 per week.  The Council is not withdrawing funding assistance for
the service users who fit this particular criteria but we are limiting the
amount of funding assistance provided to someone who, as per central
Government guidelines, has sufficient means to fund their own care.

 

The whole reason for the policy changes was to ensure that the Council
could continue to provide the services we already provided at the same
level of quality at a time when our budgets have been cut by nearly 25%.
 The Council is pleased that we have been able to maintain these services
when so many other local authorities have had to withdraw services meaning
the affected individuals have had to purchase the care privately at far
higher rates than are charged by Councils.

 

I hope this information is useful to you and does address your query.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Adam Ferrand

Team Manager

Financial Assessment & Benefits Team

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal
privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or disclosure
is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
ensure this e-mail and any attachments to it are free from viruses.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: P. Smith

5 September 2011

Dear Adam Ferrand,

To add insult to injury, we have noticed that some pavements in the
Collier Row area have been resurfaced COMPLETELY UNNECESSARILY (the
paving stones being replaced with concrete - why?) and at WHAT
COST?

Yet helpless elderly people have to pay ONE THIRD MORE in charges.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

13 September 2011

Dear Ms Smith

Thank you for your e-mail dated 5th September 2011, the contents of which have been duly noted.

I am afraid that I cannot comment on the work you refer to that is currently ongoing in Collier Row, this area of work falls within the remit of the Council's Streetcare department. Please be advised that I have forwarded your e-mail to Streetcare in order that they may respond to you regarding this matter.

In respect of your comment about charges being increased by a third, as I explained in my previous e-mail the Council has reviewed and amended the Council's Fairer Charging policy in order to ensure that the Council can continue to provide the same non-residential care services we always have. As a consequence of these changes people with larger incomes (i.e. those in receipt of private or occupational pensions on top of state pensions) and capital in excess of the Government set threshold of £23,250 have seen their charges increase. However, no changes have been applied to the standard cost of home care services, so it only individuals with the means to pay larger sums that have seen their charges increase.

Yours sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 05 September 2011 18:25
To: Adam Ferrand
Subject: Re: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Adam Ferrand,

To add insult to injury, we have noticed that some pavements in the
Collier Row area have been resurfaced COMPLETELY UNNECESSARILY (the
paving stones being replaced with concrete - why?) and at WHAT
COST?

Yet helpless elderly people have to pay ONE THIRD MORE in charges.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms Smith

I am writing in response to your e-mail dated 3rd May 2011 sent to
the
[1][email address] , the contents of which have been duly
noted.

Your query has been passed to me in my capacity as Financial
Assessment &
Benefits Team Manager.  I did previously draft a response to your
initial query where I asked for more details as your information
request
was very vague.

In the absence of specific details which would allow me to explain
very
succinctly why the individual in question's fees have increased by
a
third, I can only give you details of the recent changes to the
Council's
charging policy and other action taken by the Council that
impacted on
client charging.  Please be advised that the majority of this
information will probably not be applicable to the individual you
are
asking about but these are the only changes we have made that have
impacted on charging.

Firstly, there has been no change to the hourly charge for home
care
services since April 2009, but all service users are subject to
means
tested financial assessments so any increases in their charge will
be
primarily down to changes in their income and personal
circumstances. 
The Council has just undertaken its annual review of client
charges, which
we complete every March to reflect the increase in pension and
benefit
rates, so each service users subject to charge will have had their
assessed charge increase applicable from 11th April 2001, which is
the
start of the new financial year and the date from which new
benefit and
pension rates apply.

In addition the Council has made changes to its fairer charging
policy,
which is the policy that establishes what non-residential care
services we
charge for, at what rate we charge and how we calculate an
individuals
liability.  The following changes to the policy were made and do
apply
from 11th April 2011;

· Increase in Meals on Wheels fees to £4.99 per meal - was
£3.76 per meal.  This is a set charge applicable to all users
and
not subject to assessment.

· Increase in minimum charge for non-residential care services
from £1 to £2.50 per week - this will reduce admin costs as we
will
now only be issuing invoices of a minimum of £10 per 4 weeks. 
This
saw about 29 users who previously made small contributions be
reassessed
as nil charge payers.

· Increase in cap on maximum rates of charges from £240 per
week to £320 per week - regardless of the cost of the care
package
£320 will be the maximum charge applied to users assessed as
liable to
pay the full cost.  If people chose not to disclose any
information at
all no cap applies and they will be charge the full amount of
their care.

· Introduction of charge of £40 per day for Day Centre
services - previously the service cost users £1.34 per day
despite a
cost to the Council between £60 and £88 per day.  It is
anticipated that 60% of all day care users will be assessed as nil
charge
and only 15% liable to pay the full cost.  These charges will
apply
from 6th June 2011.

· Introduction of charge of £5 per return journey for
transport to day centres - previously this service was provided
free of
charge.  Individual liability will be subject to an assessment.

· Reduction from 15% to 10% in proportion of net assessable
income considered when applying charge for non-residential care
services -
this allowance is not statutory and is one the Council providers
on a
discretionary basis.  The reduction will see a small increase for
users
who are assessed to make a contribution to their care fees.

· Introduction of cap of £73.40 per week (equal to higher
rate of Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance) in
financial
assessments for allowable disability related expenses - previously
we
allowed any disclosed expenses incurred by an individual which
means in
some cases we are actually allowing more expenses than an
individual has
in income.  This cap will stop this inequality in the assessment
process and will ensure that individuals in a position to pay for
their
care do start paying.  An appeal process has been put in place so
people can request greater allowances in unique circumstances.

Prior to these changes being made the Council undertook a three
month
consultation in order to gather feedback from the users of the
affected
services as to the proposed changes.  This consultation involved
issuing questionnaires to all users of services, or where
appropriate
their financial representatives or appointed third parties,
affected by
the policy.  In addition the Council sought the feedback of
carers
groups within the borough, as well as advocacy groups, and where
requested
officers visited customers homes to explain the proposed changes
and
assist with the completion of the form and open sessions were held
at
Romford Town Hall on a weekly basis for 4 weeks for people to
offer
feedback regarding the proposed changes.

All feedback gathered from this consultation process was submitted
to the
appropriate Council members who made the final decisions on what
policy
changes were to be made.  Please be advised that all details of
the
Consultation and the changes to the policy are on the Council's
website.

I can only assume from your request that the policy change that
impacts on
the person you have raised this query for is the increase in the
weekly
maximum charge from £240 per week to £320 per week.  Although
this increase is substantial this only applies to service users
who have
declared having savings in excess of the Department of Health set
threshold of £23,250 and are in receipt of care packages costing
in
excess of £320 per week.  The Council is not withdrawing funding
assistance for the service users who fit this particular criteria
but we
are limiting the amount of funding assistance provided to someone
who, as
per central Government guidelines, has sufficient means to fund
their own
care.

The whole reason for the policy changes was to ensure that the
Council
could continue to provide the services we already provided at the
same
level of quality at a time when our budgets have been cut by
nearly 25%.
 The Council is pleased that we have been able to maintain these
services when so many other local authorities have had to withdraw
services meaning the affected individuals have had to purchase the
care
privately at far higher rates than are charged by Councils.

I hope this information is useful to you and does address your
query.

Yours sincerely

Adam Ferrand

Team Manager

Financial Assessment & Benefits Team

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of
the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to
legal
privilege
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From: P. Smith

15 September 2011

Dear Adam Ferrand,

We all want to see fairer charges, but this was a LEAP by ONE
THIRD.

FAIR ???????

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

15 September 2011

Dear Ms Smith

The Department of Health advised local authorities to introduce Fairer Charging policies in 2002, it is called Fairer Charging because it is a means tested approach that replaced the old approach of charging flat rates to all users of a service, regardless of their financial circumstances.

This approach, which ensures that individuals with low incomes, or whose only income is benefits, can still receive the services they require whereas previously they were unable to get the support they required on the basis that they couldn't afford it. That is why it is called Fairer Charging.

I have explained in my previous e-mails, the standard rates of charge have not increased, the only major increase is the rise in maximum charge from £240 to £320 a week. This increase, while I agree is large, only affects individuals in receipt of services costing in excess of £320 per week who also have capital in excess of £23,250, which is a centrally set threshold. This increase only affected around 20 out of nearly 1600 service users.

The increase in the maximum weekly charge is designed to reduce the subsidy the Council was paying to individuals who have the means to pay a larger contribution towards there care fees, which in turn allows the Council to ensure that we can continue to provide the services we have always provided. If, for example, the Council had taken the decision to withdraw Day Centre services then individuals would only have been able to attend these centres privately, which would means individuals would have to pay a minimum of £65 per day to attend a day centre. Under these circumstances almost 80% of current day centre users wouldn't have been able to afford to attend despite needing the service provided. Therefore, the Council do believe that the decisions made regarding the Fairer Charging policy were reasonable and in the best interests of our service users.

I am sorry that you do not agree with the Council's approach but the Council had to take the decision to either change our charging policy to generate additional income or cease providing subsidised service to individuals who need it as we couldn't continue to provide the same level of subsidy that we have previously provided. The Council felt ensuring people continued to receive care that they rely on at a higher cost was the most appropriate way to proceed.

If you still feel that this approach is unreasonable then I would advise you to contact Veronica Webb, Senior Complaints & Information Officer, to raise your concerns so this can be looked at as a formal complaint about the policy. Mrs Webb's e-mail address is [email address] and her contact telephone number is 01708 434010.

Yours sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 15 September 2011 08:53
To: Adam Ferrand
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Adam Ferrand,

We all want to see fairer charges, but this was a LEAP by ONE
THIRD.

FAIR ???????

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms Smith

Thank you for your e-mail dated 5th September 2011, the contents of
which have been duly noted.

I am afraid that I cannot comment on the work you refer to that is
currently ongoing in Collier Row, this area of work falls within
the remit of the Council's Streetcare department. Please be advised
that I have forwarded your e-mail to Streetcare in order that they
may respond to you regarding this matter.

In respect of your comment about charges being increased by a
third, as I explained in my previous e-mail the Council has
reviewed and amended the Council's Fairer Charging policy in order
to ensure that the Council can continue to provide the same
non-residential care services we always have. As a consequence of
these changes people with larger incomes (i.e. those in receipt of
private or occupational pensions on top of state pensions) and
capital in excess of the Government set threshold of £23,250 have
seen their charges increase. However, no changes have been applied
to the standard cost of home care services, so it only individuals
with the means to pay larger sums that have seen their charges
increase.

Yours sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

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From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

16 September 2011

Dear Ms Smith

In order that the Council's Streetcare department can investigate the concerns you raised regarding the work being done near your home in Collier Row can you please advise what streets in particular you are referring to. Once Streetcare have that information they can feedback to you in details regarding the need for that work.

Your sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named above.
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Link to this

From: P. Smith

18 September 2011

Dear Adam Ferrand,

My initial request was concerning an elderly, ill, bedbound and
helpless friend in her 80s. Someone who cannot defend herself.

I talked about the side street pavement facelift as an example of
completely unnecessary spending by yourselves. The perfectly OK
undamaged paving stones have gone, replaced by horrible concrete =
no difference at all, just horrible concrete now instead of paving
stones. Are perfectly good paving stones being sold off or
something?

I think you are now using this issue as a handy smoke screen to
deflect away from the main issue.

My helpless widowed friend is being charged ONE THIRD MORE for home
care charges. It is not ethical or just or right. It is horrible.

I guess putting up the charges of a frail elderly bedbound and
helpless person in constant pain is easy pickings, as they cannot
answer back for themselves.

Yours very sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

18 September 2011

I am currently out of the office on annual leave, I will be back in the
office on Monday 19th September 2011.

In my absence please contact Pamela Dumuje, Senior Financial Assessment
Officer, on 01708 434380.

Thank you.

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to legal
privilege and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named
above. Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or
disclosure is strictly proHibited. If you receive this email in error,
please notify the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your
system. WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
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Link to this

From: Adam Ferrand
Havering Borough Council

19 September 2011

Dear Ms Smith

I think you may have misunderstood my intentions in my last e-mail. I can assure you that I am not trying to "deflect away from the main issue". My intent is to try and ensure that you receive the information that you are requesting in your e-mails.

I understand that you are upset about the change in the Council's Fairer Charging policy which has impacted on your friends assessed contribution to her care fees. However, I have addressed this issue in my previous e-mails, my first e-mail explained in detail why the Council needed to change the policy and explained the process taken in order to decide which aspects of the policy would be changed. My last 2 e-mails reinforced these points as well.

I am sorry if you consider the information I have provided to date about the change in policy to be unsatisfactory, but I have given you all the pertinent information I can on this matter and I have nothing further to add about the policy changes as I feel that I have provided you with all the information I can about why charges have increased in the current financial year. If you want me to look into your friends matter in more detail you can provide me with her name and address and I will do so, or if you want to raise your concerns about the policy change at a higher level I can only suggest you contact your local Councillor.

I am endeavouring to refer you to Streetcare in order that they can provide you with an explanation as to why the work is being done on the pavements near your home. If you want to know the reason for such maintenance then please provide me with the names of the roads in question and I will pass that detail onto Streetcare. If you do not want such information then you are not obliged to provide me with that information, but please understand that I cannot comment on this work, it's cost, or why it is necessary as it is dealt with by a completely separate Council department.

Yours sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 18 September 2011 13:09
To: Adam Ferrand
Subject: RE: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Adam Ferrand,

My initial request was concerning an elderly, ill, bedbound and
helpless friend in her 80s. Someone who cannot defend herself.

I talked about the side street pavement facelift as an example of
completely unnecessary spending by yourselves. The perfectly OK
undamaged paving stones have gone, replaced by horrible concrete =
no difference at all, just horrible concrete now instead of paving
stones. Are perfectly good paving stones being sold off or
something?

I think you are now using this issue as a handy smoke screen to
deflect away from the main issue.

My helpless widowed friend is being charged ONE THIRD MORE for home
care charges. It is not ethical or just or right. It is horrible.

I guess putting up the charges of a frail elderly bedbound and
helpless person in constant pain is easy pickings, as they cannot
answer back for themselves.

Yours very sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Ms Smith

In order that the Council's Streetcare department can investigate
the concerns you raised regarding the work being done near your
home in Collier Row can you please advise what streets in
particular you are referring to. Once Streetcare have that
information they can feedback to you in details regarding the need
for that work.

Your sincerely

Adam Ferrand
Team Manager
Financial Assessment & Benefits Team
Tel: 01708 433013

This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of
the
London Borough of Havering, are confidential, may be subject to
legal privilege
and are intended only for the person(s) or organisation(s) named
above.
Any unauthorised use, retention, distribution, copying or
disclosure
is strictly prohibiTed. If you receive this email in error, please
notify
the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
WARNING: It is your responsibility to take all necessary steps to
ensure this e-mail and any attachments to it are free from viruses.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
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This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are the property of the
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From: P. Smith

19 September 2011

Dear Adam Ferrand,

I acknowledge that this is all happening in the context of
government cuts and financial crisis (or so we are led to believe).

It's a shame that we have got to a point in the UK where outrageous
unjust and unethical situations have become normal / acceptable.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: P. Smith

30 December 2011

Dear Havering Borough Council,

30 December 2011 Last updated at 07:10
Sharp rise in social care fees a stealth tax - Labour By Nick
Triggle, Health correspondent, BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16353807

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

30 December 2011

Dear Sir/Madam

I am unable to log your request because requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 must clearly describe the information requested, and your email does not appear to be asking for anything.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Lynch
Access to Information Team

For and on behalf of Ian W Burns
Acting Assistant Chief Executive
Legal and Democratic Services
Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Essex RM1 3BD

Tel. 01708 433173

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 30 December 2011 08:55
To: Accessinfo
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Havering Borough Council,

30 December 2011 Last updated at 07:10
Sharp rise in social care fees a stealth tax - Labour By Nick
Triggle, Health correspondent, BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16353807

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

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From: P. Smith

4 January 2012

Dear Accessinfo,

http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/24...

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

Link to this

From: Accessinfo
Havering Borough Council

5 January 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

With reference to our email below, could you please advise us of the specific information you are requesting.

Section 8 (1) (c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires you to 'describe the information requested' and guidance on interpreting a request, provided by the Information Commissioner's Office, states that 'Requests for information should usually be read in isolation ...'. Therefore in order to make a request for information you need to provide specific details of the information you require without reference to other documents or data.

Further information regarding Access to Information is also available from:
Office of the Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Mrs Jarman
Access to Information Team

For and on behalf of Ian W. Burns
Acting Assistant Chief Executive
Legal and Democratic Services

-----Original Message-----
From: [P. Smith] [mailto:[FOI #66213 email]]
Sent: 04 January 2012 16:23
To: Accessinfo
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Care in the home for the elderly - charges up by ONE THIRD

Dear Accessinfo,

http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/24...

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

-----Original Message-----

Dear Sir/Madam

I am unable to log your request because requests made under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 must clearly describe the
information requested, and your email does not appear to be asking
for anything.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Lynch
Access to Information Team

For and on behalf of Ian W Burns
Acting Assistant Chief Executive
Legal and Democratic Services
Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Essex RM1 3BD

Tel. 01708 433173

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the sender immediately and delete this e-mail from your system.
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P. Smith left an annotation (31 January 2012)

Quote-marks http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/500m...

"£500m funding gap for social care revealed ...

Source: Age UK. Published on 30 January 2012 12:01 AM

Age UK launches Care in Crisis 2012 report highlighting the social care crisis.
Age UK’s new Care in Crisis 2012 report shows that this year spending on older people’s social care in England has fallen half a billion pounds short of even maintaining the inadequate levels of provision in place when the Coalition came to power.
In order to maintain the same levels of service as in 2010, our projections show that Government ought to be spending £7.8 billion this year. In fact councils have only budgeted £7.3 billion in the face of substantial reductions in central government funding.
Our analysis shows that the combined impact of growing demand for services and a £341 million reduction in older people’s social care budgets this financial year – equivalent to a 4.5% cut – has created a £500 million shortfall.
The situation has reached crisis point ..."

I know where the money is being ruthlessly grabbed from - from the helpless bedbound elderly themselves.

Link to this

P. Smith left an annotation ( 1 February 2012)

Quote-marks http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal...

Equality and Human Rights: Home care of Older People

Link to this

P. Smith left an annotation ( 1 February 2012)

Link to this

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