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

CASCAIDr made this Freedom of Information request to Caerphilly County Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 176 authorities

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Dear Caerphilly County Borough 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

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

1 Attachment

 
Thank you for your recent FOI / EIR request.  Please find attached an
acknowledgement for this request.

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WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr
 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST
 
Thank you for your request for information received on the 22^nd March
2021. We have considered your request and enclose the following
information –
 
Client Finance/Appointeeship/Care charges
 
1. How many individuals is the local authority acting as an appointee for,
please?
 
52
 
2. How many of these individuals (in area or out of area) pays adult
social care charges to the council for non-residential services?
 
10
 
3. Which department is responsible for administering appointeeship?
 
‘Deputyship' and 'Debt Monitoring & Recovery'
 
4. Which department is responsible for assessing social care charges?
 
Financial Assessment Team
 
5. How many officers in either department carry out an overlapping role
with regard to appointeeship and care charges?
 
None
 
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?
 
None
 
7. How many appeals about care charges has the appointeeship team
submitted to the financial assessment team since 2015?
 
None
 
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
 
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?
 
2
 
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?
 
No
 
12. How much does it charge, if it makes a charge, per month or per week
or per year, please?
 
N/A
 
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)?
 
N/A
 
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
 
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.
 
This matter is currently being reviewed by Welsh Government
 
We supply this information based on your original request. If this is not
what you wanted or if you feel we have not fully understood your request
please do not hesitate to contact us to clarify your exact requirements.
 
If you have any queries or concerns or are in any way dissatisfied with
the handling of your request please contact [1][Caerphilly County Borough Council request email].
 
Yours sincerely
 
Corporate Information Governance Unit
 
 
 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004
 
You have the right to appeal against our decision.

If you wish to appeal please set If you are unhappy with that decision
out in writing your grounds of you have the right to appeal to:
appeal and send to:  
Corporate Information Governance Information Commissioner’s Office –
Unit Wales
Caerphilly county borough council, 2nd Floor, Churchill House
Penallta House Churchill Way
Tredomen Park Cardiff CF10 2HH
Hengoed. CF82 7PG  
  Tel: 0330 414 6421
Appeals will be determined by an
appropriate senior officer. Website: [2]www.ico.org.uk
Email: [3][email address]

 
Re-use of information without permission may infringe the Copyright,
Designs and Patents Act 1988. Re-use can include, but is not limited to,
making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies of the information
to a wider audience. If you would like to re-use copyright material owned
by Caerphilly County Borough Council, please contact us. Authorisation to
re-use copyright material not owned by this Authority should be sought
directly from the copyright owner.
 
 
 

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Dear Corporate Information Governance Unit, Caerphilly CBC

We have to ask you reconsider and clarify your answer because we cannot tell whether your replies are on account of us stupidly overlooking that you have Welsh legislation governing social care, or because you are answering the questions as if we had specified the Welsh legislation. We appreciate this is aggravating for you and apologise for not making it clear we meant under legislation applicable in Wales.

Here is a link to the FOI request: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours sincerely,
CASCAIDr

WWW: FOI, Caerphilly County Borough Council

Dear Belinda Schwehr

Thank-you for your received on 11th May.

We have reviewed our response of 22nd April and confirm that it is answered correctly (to legislation applicable in our geographic area).

Yours sincerely

CORPORATE INFORMATION GOVERNANCE UNIT

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