Information on Personalisation - RAS and mental capacity policy

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Hartlepool Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Hartlepool Council,

Please could you help me out with some research I am doing into personalisation and mental capacity. My questions relate to personalisation as it applies to Adult Social Care.

1. Please could you provide me with copies of any policy documents or protocols relating to making direct payments to third parties on behalf of people who lack mental capacity.

2. Please could you also supply any policy documents or protocols, if such exist, relating to any safeguarding issues specifically arising from personalisation (including checks to prevent financial abuse, and breakdown of care contingency plans, ensuring personal assistants paid out of DP's are CRB checked and trained)

3.Please could you provide me with yearly data on:
a.The overall number of people (to date) who have received direct payments which they have managed themselves – please could you also give this figure as a total proportion of service users
b. The overall number of people for whom direct payments have been made to a third party to manage on their behalf, on the basis that they either lack the mental - please could you also give this figure as a total proportion of service users capacity to consent to a DP, or the ability to manage it (ie. under Health and Social Care Act 2008).
c. If possible, please could you break down the figures for 3a and 3b into how many DP’s were paid for service users with dementia or learning disabilities
d. If possible, please could you break down the figures for 3b into how many DP’s were paid into user trusts, independent brokerage, or directly to individuals to manage on their behalf

4.Please could you provide me with yearly data on the number and proportion of direct payments where the amount awarded exceeded the indicative amount specified by a RAS (of those cases where a RAS was used to calculate the amount).

5. Please could you provide me with yearly data on the number of any legal challenges that the local authority may have been subject to on the basis that indicative amounts were insufficient to meet eligible needs, or that insufficient ‘reasons’ were supplied for changes in support based on RAS decisions. By ‘legal challenge’ I mean both pre-action letters from solicitors which may not have gone to court, and any cases which have reached the courts.

6. Please could you give me copies of any financial or technical reports into the Resource Allocation System used by the local authority adult social care department. I would particularly like to see information regarding what questions the RAS bases its calculations on, and what those calculations are (i.e. what are the multipliers behind the possible answers to each question). It may be that this information is not given in a 'report' as such, but I would be happy to receive it in whatever means the council holds it in.

I really appreciate your team taking the time to respond to my request. If you would like further clarification regarding any question, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

Lucy Series

Freedomofinformation, Hartlepool Council

20 Attachments

Dear Madam

Further to your request I can advise as follows:

1. Please could you provide me with copies of any policy documents
or protocols relating to making direct payments to third parties on
behalf of people who lack mental capacity.

Please see the in-control website, [1]www.in-control.org.uk here you will
find our 2006-2009 evaluation which will give you some insight into
personalisation and its development within Hartlepool. Alternatively you
can send me your postal address and I can send a hard copy.

On the website you will also find a safeguarding paper which we used as
part of our development of self directed funding and supported decision
making tools which assist in support planning where there are issues
relating to ability around decision making.

I have attached our nominee agreement which is used where somebody wants
the choice associated with DP's but requires or wants support to manage
them (maybe due to capacity issues, safeguarding issues etc.)

Representatives who take on this role maybe reliable family members or
friends and we also commission support from support services who can
manage people's direct payment accounts on their behalf. I have attached
some info re these services and again if you require hard copies let me
know.

We use the DP guidance from DoH around decision making /practice etc. and
we have a help line within the dept to assist people with queries as well
as support services (attached)

As part of our assessment we look at people's understanding and capacity
and within support planning would be explicit about the support the person
needed to manage their DP or in direct payment. The plans would only be
signed off if they are clear about what support people need around
DP/decision making /arrangements of how the support is going to be
provided. See example SDAQ and support plan. We use a sign off sheet to
ensure all areas are covered and I have attached this along with a
document which outlines what needs to be in a support plan. Regarding the
best way to deploy a personal budget in relation to the support required I
have attached our guidance "managing a personal budget".

Our support services provide people with a CRB / reference checks etc and
the advice is also provided through LA staff, although the DP guidance is
clear that LA's cannot insist CRB's are completed. Where a worker is
concerned that a person s needs will not be made safely if a CRB is not
completed the worker would explain the importance of this to the PB holder
and if advice not taken and there are concerns this is flagged up within
management structure /panel and risk assessment around DP completed.

We provide access to websites which advice people around employment issues
also and training on how to be a good employer etc

All staff are trained around Mental Capacity Act 2005 and safeguarding
issues and would apply this learning to the issues around DP's as they
would other forms/ models of provision.

Staffs are trained around DP's and are aware they have a duty of care to
assess and also monitor the outcomes being achieved by the person on a
regular basis.

Each persons support plan highlights when the DP /budget will be reviewed
(this should be proportionate with the level of risk assessed and support
plan is only signed off when these details are included.) Any issues
highlighted in relation to safeguarding are managed through our formal
safeguarding route where appropriate, see policy

[2]http://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/info/731/sa...

All support plans need to have a contingency plan in place to be signed
off to ensure the person is healthy and safe and well and also when a
person chooses a DP as a means of deploying their personal budget they (
or their nominated person) are given contact numbers of contracted
agencies to use if they need back up as well as the support services
holding a list of approved people to use as back up.

2. Please could you also supply any policy documents or protocols,
if such exist, relating to any safeguarding issues specifically
arising from personalisation (including checks to prevent financial
abuse, and breakdown of care contingency plans, ensuring personal
assistants paid out of DP's are CRB checked and trained)

3.Please could you provide me with yearly data on:
a.The overall number of people (to date) who have received direct
payments which they have managed themselves - please could you also
give this figure as a total proportion of service users
b. The overall number of people for whom direct payments have been
made to a third party to manage on their behalf, on the basis that
they either lack the mental - please could you also give this
figure as a total proportion of service users capacity to consent
to a DP, or the ability to manage it (ie. under Health and Social
Care Act 2008).
c. If possible, please could you break down the figures for 3a and
3b into how many DP's were paid for service users with dementia or
learning disabilities
d. If possible, please could you break down the figures for 3b into
how many DP's were paid into user trusts, independent brokerage, or
directly to individuals to manage on their behalf

Re question 3 as you have not finished the sentence you started I have
assumed you meant to say they either lack the mental capacity or want
someone to manage on their behalf due to other issues. We had 413 people
take a DP last year and out of these 211 had a nominated person to manage
the account for them. This would either be a friend, relative or formal
agency. At the moment all of our information in relation to the break down
of this information is being transferred into our new management
information system so without a manual trawl I can't access it easily. I
can at a later date provide you with this if required.
No one has used a trust in Hartlepool and as I said I cannot currently
easily break down the figure into formal agencies as reps as opposed to
friends /family representatives.

4.Please could you provide me with yearly data on the number and
proportion of direct payments where the amount awarded exceeded the
indicative amount specified by a RAS (of those cases where a RAS
was used to calculate the amount).

When there is a disparity between what is the indicative allocation and
amount actually awarded these plans are signed off and recorded as such
however again this information in its current format will take too long to
find, therefore as with stats if you require this once it has been in
putted into our new contracts monitoring system then I will endeavour to
provide it.

5. Please could you provide me with yearly data on the number of
any legal challenges that the local authority may have been subject
to on the basis that indicative amounts were insufficient to meet
eligible needs, or that insufficient `reasons' were supplied for
changes in support based on RAS decisions. By `legal challenge' I
mean both pre-action letters from solicitors which may not have
gone to court, and any cases which have reached the courts.

We have had no legal challenges around this and are very clear that the
indicative allocation is just a "starting point and an estimate of what we
think people may need to support their social care needs it is not set in
stone and we often allocate more resource if it is clear/ evidenced that
it is required.

6. Please could you give me copies of any financial or technical
reports into the Resource Allocation System used by the local
authority adult social care department. I would particularly like
to see information regarding what questions the RAS bases its
calculations on, and what those calculations are (i.e. what are the
multipliers behind the possible answers to each question). It may
be that this information is not given in a 'report' as such, but I
would be happy to receive it in whatever means the council holds it
in.

Our RAS is based on in controls 5.1 model and allocates 100 points across
the domains, the highest points being allocated in the areas of high level
of personal support required and a high level of risk apparent. (see above
SDAQ)

If you have problems opening the attachments, please let me know.

I hope that this information deals with your request, however if you are
dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask
for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted
within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original
request and should be sent to Chief Executives Department, Legal Services
Division, Level 3, Civic Centre, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY,
[email address].

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF, [3]www.ico.gov.uk.

Kind Regards

Hayley Martin

Constitutional & Administrative Solicitor
Legal Division
Civic Centre - Level 3
Tel: 01429 523182
Fax: 01429 523481
[4][email address]
[5]www.hartlepool.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Martin,

Thank you very much for your detailed response and the accompanying documentation - I appreciate you taking the time to put that together. I wonder if you'd be able to help me out with a bit more detail in response to question 6. You state:

'Our RAS is based on in controls 5.1 model and allocates 100 points across the domains, the highest points being allocated in the areas of high level of personal support required and a high level of risk apparent. (see above SDAQ)'

- Looking at SDAQ, and I might just be missing something, I can't work out how you get from the questions to the indicative amount. You mention the RAS model 5.1 from In Control, but I can't actually find much about this online - do you have any additional documentation I could look at? What I'm interested in finding out is how the points are awarded on the basis of the assessment, and how this translates into the indicative amount. Some local authorities have sent me a spreadsheet with the 'weights' they use to calculate an amount from each answer - if you have anything like that it would be really helpful. Thanks very much.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy Series

Freedomofinformation, Hartlepool Council

Dear Madam

I have asked the officer who provided the information to clarify this. I will be in contact as soon as I receive a response.

Kind Regards

Hayley Martin

Constitutional & Administrative Solicitor
Legal Division
Civic Centre - Level 3
Tel: 01429 523182
Fax: 01429 523481
[email address]
www.hartlepool.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Ms Martin,

I have just been checking through my FOI responses to see how many councils disclosed data on the formulae underpinning the Resource Allocation Systems in adult social care. I saw that I asked Hartlepool for more detailed information on this, and the officer said they would get in touch but I haven't heard back since then. The deadline for referrals to the Information Commissioner's Office is fast approaching, so please could Hartlepool let me know whether they will be providing a more detailed response to this?

I am very grateful for the very detailed response I have received so far, but part of the exercise was to see how many councils are clear and transparent about how 'indicative amounts' are calculated: what the basis for the points scores are, and how these are converted into cash values.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy Series

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org