Independent Living Fund Consultation

Paul Taylforth made this Freedom of Information request to Westminster City Council

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Dear Westminster City Council,

Please could you let me know if you have responded to the
Governments consultation on the proposed closure of the
Independent Living Fund (ILF).

If you have, please could you provide me with your responses to the
questions within that consultation.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Taylforth

Westminster City Council

Confirmation of Freedom Of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request details have now been recorded and will be passed on to the
appropriate Divisional Records Officer for action.

This Freedom Of Information Request was based on the following
information:

Name: Paul Taylforth
Address: see email address
Email: [FOI #133394 email]
Telephone:
Request Details: Please could you let me know if you have responded to the
Governments consultation on the proposed closure of the Independent Living
Fund (ILF).

If you have, please could you provide me with your responses to the
questions within that consultation.

FOI Reference Number: 9571
Target Completion Date: 12/11/2012

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FOI, Westminster City Council

Dear Mr Taylforth,

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of information request, which we
received on 15 October 2012.

 

Please find Westminster City Council’s response to the Government’s
consultation on the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
set out below:

 

QUESTION 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?[1][1] This would mean
the closure of the ILF in 2015.

 

Until more details are released regarding the closure of the ILF, it’s
difficult to provide a full response on how the transfer will affect ILF
users and local authorities.

 

However, in principle LBHF supports the proposal that the care and support
needs of current ILF users should be met within the mainstream care and
support system of local authorities.

 

QUESTION 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?

 

A major challenge will be to meet the needs of group 1 users who may not
be known to their local authority.

The group 1 users will be subjected to the individual FACs and home care
charging policies of the each local authority. 

 

Further guidance will be required to ensure all ILF service users are
assessed by their local authorities prior to the proposed closure in 2015.

 

There needs to be clear communication to each ILF service user affected by
the proposed closure. This should also involve clear policies and national
guidelines for local authorities to ensure that service users needs are
met.

 

Local authorities and the ILF need to consider the benefits of joint
assessments/visits to the affected ILF service users. To facilitate the
proposed changes, advocacy services will be required to provide
independent support and advice.

 

Transferred ILF Group 1 service users will also be required to undertake
annual reviews of their care needs rather than the current ILF process of
every two years.

 

QUESTION 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 mitigated?

 

If the ILF is closed and the funding is transferred, then local
authorities will need to undertake an increased number of care and
charging assessments for each ILF service user.

London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham will undertake annual care and
charging reviews for transferred group 1 service users as opposed to the
ILF policy of every two years. This will ensure equality for all service
users.

 

 

There needs to be clear communication to each local authority on the terms
of the transfer, prior to the proposed transfer date of 2015. This will
allow careful planning to mitigate any negative effects of the transfer.
This needs to be supplemented by clear policies and national guidelines to
local authorities to ensure that there is equality in the transfer.

 

Until further details are announced over the terms of the transfer, it’s
difficult to predict the financial effect on each local authority’s
funding.

 

 

QUESTION 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?

 

Presently, not all Group 1 users are known to local authorities, therefore
there is a concern that they may not be willing to engage with their local
authorities. The ILF will need to receive the consent of Group 1 users to
pass their information onto their local authority so that assessments can
be under-taken.

 

Group 1 service users may benefit from the transfer as they will have
access to the local authority services that will better serve their care
needs. In addition any assessment of group 1 service users would include
an income maximisation assessment.

 

As Group 1 service users may be reluctant to engage with their local
authority, it may be beneficial if they receive joint visits/assessments
from their local authority and the ILF.

 

 

QUESTION 5

 

How can the 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?

 

An adequate response to the question is hampered by the fact that the
precise details of the transfer are not currently known.

 

There needs to be clear communication and guidelines on the detail of the
transfer to both ensure a smooth transitional period and that ILF users
concerns are addressed. This can be facilitated by open days where all
stakeholders are invited to attend.

 

In addition, each individual ILF service user should be written to on how
the changes affect their  payments.

 

Please note that the response is a joint response, submitted in
conjunction with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and the
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as part of our Tri-Borough Adults
Social Care Commissioning arrangements.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Knowledge & Information Management Team

 

Westminster City Hall

10th Floor East

64 Victoria Street

London

SW1E 6QP

T: 0207 641 3921

F: 0207 641 2872

E: [email address]

 

 

 

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