Conflict of Interest in relation to Client Finance/Appointeeship and the possibility that social care charges are unlawful

The request was successful.

Dear Wiltshire Council,

To whom it may concern

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for, please?

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care charges since 2015?

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector, legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy, fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so, does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week or per year, please?

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

15. In respect of all council clients who are currently in receipt of adult social care services, regarded as liable to pay a charge for their adult social care services, for whom the appointee role is currently undertaken - how is the relevant department holding the appointeeship responsibility proposing to manage the conflict of interest presented by the judgment in the Norfolk CC v SH case in December 2020, given that the decision means that other similar policies are presumptively unlawful? Please answer with a sentence or a paragraph; it is suggested that it is not a proper response to say that no decisions have been made, as yet, because the problem already exists.

Regards
Belinda Schwehr, CEO, CASCAIDr. www.CASCAIDr.org.uk

FOI, Wiltshire Council

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Schwehr,

 

Freedom of Information Request Case ID 202001541

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 March 2021 in
which you asked for the following information:

 

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for,
please?

 

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult
social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

 

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

 

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

 

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role
with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

 

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation
on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a
change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

 

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team
submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

 

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care
charges since 2015?

 

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred
individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector,
legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

 

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy,
fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s
charging policy, since 2015?

 

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so,
does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

 

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week
or per year, please?

 

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the
council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the
charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise
chargeable)?

 

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care
clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability
Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private
appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

 

Your request is being processed under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and you will receive a response within 20 working
days of receipt of your request, meaning you will receive a response on or
before .

 

Kind regards,

 

Henrietta
Information Governance Officer

Email: [1][email address] | Web: [2]www.wiltshire.gov.uk

 

[3]cid:image008.png@01D445E8.1565CF70

[4]www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wisc

 

show quoted sections

FOI, Wiltshire Council

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Schwehr,

 

Freedom of Information Request Case ID 202001541

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 March 2021, in
which you asked for the following information:

 

How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for,
please?

How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult social
care charges to the council for non-residential services?

Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role with
regard to appointeeship and care charges?

How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation on
behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a
change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team submitted
to the financial assessment team since 2015?

How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care
charges since 2015?

How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred individuals
they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector, legal aid or
privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy,
fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s
charging policy, since 2015?

Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so, does it
charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week or
per year, please?

If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the
council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the
charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise
chargeable)?

If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care
clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability
Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private
appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) the Council is obliged
to:

+ Let you know whether we hold the information you have requested
+ Provide you with the requested information, if held, (subject to any
exemptions to disclosure that may apply)

 

I can confirm that the council holds the information you requested which
is as follows.

 

1.     How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee
for, please?

95 clients 

2.     How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult
social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

8 clients

 3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

Court of Protection (COP)Team

 4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

Finance, Assessment and Benefits (FAB)Team

 5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role
with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

None, as the tasks are managed by two separate teams. 

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation
on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a
change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

There was a consultation with individual customers and stakeholders in
2016 regarding the changes to the council charging policy.  The CoP team
did make a submission into the consultation voicing our views on the
implication of the charges on our clients. 

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team
submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

None.  Please note the if there were an occasion to challenge or appeal a
decision, the COP team would do this in accordance with the council
process

 8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding
care charges since 2015?

None.

 9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred
individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector,
legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

None required. 

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy,
fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s
charging policy, since 2015?

None. The nominated appointee within the COP Team will review the
financial assessment when returned to them from the FAB Team to ensure
accuracy and fairness and if a challenge is required this will be done in
accordance with council process.

 11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so,
does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

Yes the council does treat appointeeship as a Care Act service.  Yes, it
does charge (see question below for further detail)

 12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week
or per year, please?

Appointeeships are charged at £5 per week however the first £2000 of
capital is exempt and any clients that are subject section 117 are not
charged regardless of capital.  

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the
council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the
charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise
chargeable)?

Yes the charges are an allowable DRE deduction.

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care
clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability
Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private
appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

 N/A

 

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Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You may use the information we
have provided in response to your request under the terms of the [1]Open
Government Licence.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your request you can ask for
a review of the handling of your request for information. Details of the
complaints procedure are below.

 

Regards,

 

Henrietta

Information Governance Team

Legal and Governance

Wiltshire Council

[2][Wiltshire Council request email]

 

Freedom of Information Complaints and Review Procedure

Any person who has requested information from Wiltshire Council which has
been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act is entitled to make a
complaint and request an internal review of the handling of their request
if they are dissatisfied with the response they have received.

Requests for review of a Freedom of Information requests should be made,
in writing, which includes email, to:

 

Freedom of Information and Records Lead

Information Governance Team

Legal and Governance

Wiltshire Council

[3][Wiltshire Council request email]

 

Please include the Case ID number, the date of your request and details of
why you are asking for a review.  Requests for a review should be brought
to our attention within 40 calendar days of our response to your request.

 

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The reviewer will conduct a full review of the handling of the request for
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If the requester is still dissatisfied with the council's handling of
their request they should contact the Information Commissioners Office
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Information Commissioners Office

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Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel; 0303 123 1113 (local rate)

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Email; [4][email address]

 

From: FOI <[email address]>
Sent: 22 March 2021 14:18
To: CASCAIDr <[FOI #738917 email]>
Subject: (HW) 202001541 RE: Freedom of Information request - Conflict of
Interest in relation to Client Finance/Appointeeship and the possibility
that social care charges are unlawful

 

Dear Ms Schwehr,

 

Freedom of Information Request Case ID 202001541

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 21 March 2021 in
which you asked for the following information:

 

1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for,
please?

 

2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult
social care charges to the council for non-residential services?

 

3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?

 

4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?

 

5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role
with regard to appointeeship and care charges?

 

6. How many times has the appointeeship team responded to a consultation
on behalf of individuals or any group of benefits claimants regarding a
change in the council’s charging policy, since 2015?

 

7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team
submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?

 

8. How many complaints has the appointeeship team submitted regarding care
charges since 2015?

 

9. How many times has the appointeeship team sought or referred
individuals they act for, to independent advice (whether third sector,
legal aid or privately funded) about care charges, since 2015?

 

10. How many times has the appointeeship team questioned the accuracy,
fairness or legal validity of individuals’ care charges or the council’s
charging policy, since 2015?

 

11. Does the council treat appointeeship as a Care Act service? If so,
does it charge for that as part of the Care Act charging system?

 

12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week
or per year, please?

 

13. If appointeeship is not provided for through the Care Act, does the
council allow for a DRE deduction from Disability Benefits income, for the
charge it makes for appointeeship (assuming a person is otherwise
chargeable)?

 

14. If the council does not operate appointeeships for adult social care
clients, does the council permit a full DRE deduction from Disability
Benefits income, for any charge levied by any other corporate or private
appointee (assuming a person is otherwise chargeable)?

 

Your request is being processed under the provisions of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and you will receive a response within 20 working
days of receipt of your request, meaning you will receive a response on or
before .

 

Kind regards,

 

Henrietta
Information Governance Officer

Email: [5][email address] | Web: [6]www.wiltshire.gov.uk

 

[7]cid:image008.png@01D445E8.1565CF70

[8]www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wisc

 

show quoted sections