Swindon: Leonard Cheshire, the Living Wage and fees for residential care for younger adults

The request was successful.

Dear Swindon Borough Council,

Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) claim that they would like to pay their carers the Living Wage but that they are not paid enough by social care funders such as yourself to do so.

I wonder if you could please tell me:

1) what representations Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) have made to the Council asking for increases in the fees paid for social care provided by them, in order to pay their carers the Living Wage.

2) Some idea as to the fees currently being paid by the Council to LCD for residential care, per resident per week. A range of fees or a set of anonymised figures of the fees perhaps. Other councils have opted to supply statistical median and range as they were concerned that individual fees could make it possible for people to have a guess at which residents had which fees.

3) Equivalent information for fees paid to other providers for residential care in care homes for people with physical impairments under the age of 65.

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FOI office for response.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Sally Jansen, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding Fees for
Residential Care for Younger Adults dated 30^th January 2015.

 

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council has a
duty to respond ‘promptly’ or no later than 20 working days, which in this
case is  27^th February 2015.

 

If you have any queries about this, please contact me as detailed quoting
the above reference number.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([1][email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [2]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Sally Jansen, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Further to the email dated 2^nd February 2015, I am contacting you in
relation to the above FOI request.

 

I have been in consultation with the team responsible for the requested
information and understand this information may be considered
‘Commercially Sensitive’, in accordance with Section 43 (2) of the FOI
Act. In accordance with the Act we will need further time in which to
consider the requested information and we also need to check with the
provider. We therefore plan to update you as to the progress of your
request by Monday 9^th March 2015.  

 

If you have any queries about this matter please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in all future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [1]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

From: Sally Jansen
Sent: 02 February 2015 14:40
To: '[FOI #251394 email]'
Subject: FOI 101000538376 - Freedom of Information request regarding Fees
for Residential Care for Younger Adults

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding Fees for
Residential Care for Younger Adults dated 30^th January 2015.

 

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council has a
duty to respond ‘promptly’ or no later than 20 working days, which in this
case is  27^th February 2015.

 

If you have any queries about this, please contact me as detailed quoting
the above reference number.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([2][email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [3]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Sally Jansen,

Thank you for keeping me informed.

It may assist you in your deliberation of the Public Interest if I
tell you that I have put the same request to all the councils in
the UK that commission care. To date, 112 have responded providing
the information I requested.

I have had not just information as to whether Leonard Cheshire
Disability have cited the Living Wage as a reason for their request
for an increase in the fees paid to them (not one council has had
this cited) but copies of actual letters requesting fee increases -
see for example
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...
- and copies of Councils' responses;

Further I have had figures on fees paid to Leonard Cheshire
Disability from 57 of the Councils. Most others have no residents
with LCD, and some have so few (less than 5) that they risked
giving out personal information;

Further I have had figures on fees paid to other providers from 82
councils.

From this I can infer that the release of any information you hold
will be of negligible impact on commercial sensitivities as the
information is already substantially out there from so many other
councils. The public interest lies firmly with releasing the
information.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Sally Jansen, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Thank you for your email dated 5^th March.

 

Apologies for the slight delay in updating you. Further to the email below
dated 23^rd February 2015, I am contacting you to advise that the team are
still considering the information under the Section 43 (2) exemption and
they will require a further 7 working days. We therefore plan to update
you as to the progress of your request by 18^th March 2015.  

 

If you have any queries about this matter please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in all future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([1][email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [2]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

From: Sally Jansen
Sent: 23 February 2015 11:50
To: '[FOI #251394 email]'
Subject: FOI 101000538376 - Freedom of Information request regarding Fees
for Residential Care for Younger Adults

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Further to the email dated 2^nd February 2015, I am contacting you in
relation to the above FOI request.

 

I have been in consultation with the team responsible for the requested
information and understand this information may be considered
‘Commercially Sensitive’, in accordance with Section 43 (2) of the FOI
Act. In accordance with the Act we will need further time in which to
consider the requested information and we also need to check with the
provider. We therefore plan to update you as to the progress of your
request by Monday 9^th March 2015.  

 

If you have any queries about this matter please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in all future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([3][email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [4]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

From: Sally Jansen
Sent: 02 February 2015 14:40
To: '[FOI #251394 email]'
Subject: FOI 101000538376 - Freedom of Information request regarding Fees
for Residential Care for Younger Adults

 

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding Fees for
Residential Care for Younger Adults dated 30^th January 2015.

 

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council has a
duty to respond ‘promptly’ or no later than 20 working days, which in this
case is  27^th February 2015.

 

If you have any queries about this, please contact me as detailed quoting
the above reference number.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([5][email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [6]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Sally Jansen, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley

 

Ref Freedom of Information Request 101000538376

 

Further to the email dated 10^th March 2015, I am contacting you in
regards to the above FOI request. We are in the process of contacting the
home concerned to seek their with this process. We therefore plan to
update you as to the progress of your request by 1^st April 2015.  

 

If you have any queries about this matter please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in all future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

Sally Jansen

 

Sally Jansen ([email address])

Freedom of Information & Data Protection Coordinator

Adult Social Care / Children & Families

Swindon Borough Council

Tel: 01793 466824

Web: [1]www.swindon.gov.uk

 

 

References

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

Dear Swindon Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Swindon Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Swindon: Leonard Cheshire, the Living Wage and fees for residential care for younger adults'.

I'm getting fed up with the continual delays in response to my request.

Here's the time line:

I made the request on 30th January
The response was due 27 February
You emailed on 23rd February indicating you would respond on 9th March
You emailed on 10th March indicating you would respond on 18th March
You emailed on 18th March indicating you will respond on 1st April.

The Freedom of Information Act indicates you should respond "promptly and in any case within" 20 working days; and that if the Public Interest Test is engaged you have a maximum of a further 20 working days. The absolute, absolute last minute that you should have responded by is 27th March.

It annoys me as well that the reason for the delay is that you are consulting Leonard Cheshire Disability. They are causing the delay? The obligations on timescales are yours, not theirs.

Further I have now had information from 130 councils. Each of these councils has indicated whether or not they have had representations from Leonard Cheshire Disability for increases in their fees to enable them to pay the Living Wage. Some have provided copies of the actual letters sent from Leonard Cheshire Disability, and their own responses. Each of them have given indications of fees paid to Leonard Cheshire Disability, and to other providers. These 130 didn't see the need to contact LCD for permission. Why do you?

Please supply the information irrespective of any delaying by Leonard Cheshire Disability. I fail to see why you are taking so long.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

Doug Paulley

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the relevant department for them to respond to you directly.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Customer Services,

It may assist you in deliberation of the application of the S43 exemption - Commercial Sensitivity - to know the following.

I asked Lewisham Council exactly the same questions and they relied on the S43 "Commercial Sensitivity" exemption, even after internal review. I asked for the Information Commissioner's help and opinion. Following the Informatin Commissioner's Office's intervention, Lewisham Council has now decided that S43 does not apply to this information, and has thus released all the information requested.

I very much hope I don't have to refer your reliance on S43 to the Information Commissioner, but I will do if required.

The Information Commissioner said:

"As you know, the Information Commissioner has been considering the Council’s decision to withhold information under section 43(3) in response to your request.

"Subsequent to the Commissioner’s intervention, the Council has amended its response to your request. It has withdrawn its reliance on section 43 and has disclosed further information in response to your request."

I await your response.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FOI office for response.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Sally Jansen,

I have collated all the responses I have received so far into a spreadsheet which may be viewed at https://www.dropbox.com/s/rwv0gmjjbvrbm2... . You will see that 132 councils have supplied the information I requested, with the exception of a few who only have less than five service users in Leonard Cheshire Disability homes and so risked releasing sensitive personal information by replying.

I hope that serves as documentary proof that release of similar information by your council would be minimal in impact or risk to commercial sensitivity.

Thank you

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Sharon Druett, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Ref FOI101000558513 Freedom of Information Request Complaint

 

Thank you for your emails below received in our office on  23^rd and
24^th  March respectively.  

I  have been forwarded your requests by Customer Services and I am in the
process of reviewing how your request has been dealt with.

 

The complaints / review procedure has two stages in cases like this. It
involves a full review by me, to establish why the information has not
been sent to you.

If I cannot resolve the matter to your satisfaction, you also have the
option of referring it to the Council’s Monitoring Officer, Stephen
Taylor, Director of Law and Democratic Services. 

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before
we have completed our investigation. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

 

The Information Officer can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Email: [email address]

Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

 

I can advise you at this stage the Council needs to consider what the
likelihood is that prejudice may be caused by disclosure of the
information (Section 43(2)). The Information Commissioner’s advice is to
seek the opinion of third parties involved (where practicable) and we are
not allowed just to speculate on what would or would be likely to
prejudice a third parties commercial interests. However, whilst we should
take into account their views, it is as you point out, the Council’s
responsibility to make the final decision and to try to resolve these
issues in a timely manner.

 

I understand it was our intention to update you on our progress with this
request on 1^st April, 2015. In the meantime, iif you require any further
information concerning this matter please contact me quoting the reference
numbers at the top of the email.

 

Yours sincerely,

Sharon Druett

Sharon Druett ([email address])
Freedom of Information Officer
Law and Democratic Services
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 463377
Fax: 01793 463405
Web: www.swindon.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Sharon Druett, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Ref FOI101000558513 Freedom of Information Request Complaint

 

As advised below, the Council was concerned due to the very low numbers of
residents involved, that the rates and residents may become directly
identifiable, if we released the information. We are aware of our
responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act, but we also need to
be sure when we release information, that it would not prejudice the
commercial interests of the organisations we work with. I understand that
the delays have also been caused because the Council had difficulties in
contacting Leonard Cheshire Disability to get their views. However, I  do
appreciate that any delay is frustrating, but  there is clear evidence
that you were kept up to date of our progress with your request and every
effort was made to bring the request to its conclusion. As a result,
please find the response to the following questions:

 

1) what representations Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) have made to the
Council asking for increases in the fees paid for social care provided by
them, in order to pay their carers the Living Wage.

 

Response:

 

We last received a letter requesting an uplift of fees  in 2012 /13  which
resulted in a piece of work to negotiate an increase, no further requests
have been recorded since then.

It is worth noting that for annual increases for out of area placements,
Swindon pays the same increase as agreed by the hosting local authority.
So as an example if the home is in Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire agree a
3% increase, Swindon Borough Council will apply the same rates

 

2) Some idea as to the fees currently being paid by the Council to LCD for
residential care, per resident per week. A range of fees or a set of
anonymised figures of the fees perhaps. Other councils have opted to
supply statistical median and range as they were concerned that individual
fees could make it possible for people to have a guess at which residents
had which fees.

 

Response:

 

Due to very low numbers involved  the Council were concerned that it 
would be releasing specific details concerning fees and the residents
concerned. However, we are prepared to make it the following anonymised
information available to you. We can advise there are less than 3 service
users in Leonard Cheshire services with an average fee of £831 per week. 

 

3) Equivalent information for fees paid to other providers for residential
care in care homes for people with physical impairments under the age of
65.

 

Response:

 

We would be unable to provide a comparison figures for other service users
in similar settings due to fees being negotiated on an individual basis
having considered individual needs and support levels e.g. 1:1, 2:1 etc
required per day. Each case is different and agreed on an individual
basis.  Fee ranges for current younger adults range from £450 per week to
£2500 per week

 

If the above response has not provided answers to your satisfaction, as
advised , I can refer this request to the Council’s Monitoring Officer,
Stephen Taylor, Director of Law, and Democratic Services to carry out a
full review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before
we have completed our investigation. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

 

The Information Officer can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Email: [1][email address]

Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

 

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me as detailed,
quoting the above reference number.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sharon Druett

 

Sharon Druett ([2][email address])
Freedom of Information Officer
Law and Democratic Services
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 463377
Fax: 01793 463405
Web: [3]www.swindon.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

From: Sharon Druett
Sent: 27 March 2015 18:40
To: '[FOI #251394 email]'
Subject: FW: Complaint - FOI 101000538376 - Freedom of Information request
regarding Fees for Residential Care for Younger Adults Ref:101000558513
Importance: High

 

Dear Mr Paulley,

 

Ref FOI101000558513 Freedom of Information Request Complaint

 

Thank you for your emails below received in our office on  23^rd and
24^th  March respectively.  

I  have been forwarded your requests by Customer Services and I am in the
process of reviewing how your request has been dealt with.

 

The complaints / review procedure has two stages in cases like this. It
involves a full review by me, to establish why the information has not
been sent to you.

If I cannot resolve the matter to your satisfaction, you also have the
option of referring it to the Council’s Monitoring Officer, Stephen
Taylor, Director of Law and Democratic Services. 

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before
we have completed our investigation. Generally, the ICO cannot make a
decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

 

The Information Officer can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Email: [4][email address]

Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

 

I can advise you at this stage the Council needs to consider what the
likelihood is that prejudice may be caused by disclosure of the
information (Section 43(2)). The Information Commissioner’s advice is to
seek the opinion of third parties involved (where practicable) and we are
not allowed just to speculate on what would or would be likely to
prejudice a third parties commercial interests. However, whilst we should
take into account their views, it is as you point out, the Council’s
responsibility to make the final decision and to try to resolve these
issues in a timely manner.

 

I understand it was our intention to update you on our progress with this
request on 1^st April, 2015. In the meantime, iif you require any further
information concerning this matter please contact me quoting the reference
numbers at the top of the email.

 

Yours sincerely,

Sharon Druett

Sharon Druett ([5][email address])
Freedom of Information Officer
Law and Democratic Services
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 463377
Fax: 01793 463405
Web: [6]www.swindon.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear Sharon Druett,

Thank you for the information. I should be grateful if you could continue with my internal review as requested on 22nd March, as I still don't feel like I have been provided with the information.

My request was for "1) what representations Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) have made to the Council asking for increases in the fees paid for social care provided by them, in order to pay their carers the Living Wage."

You have told me what negotiations have happened with LCD but not whether the negotiations were in an attempt by LCD to obtain an increase to enable them to pay their carers the Living Wage, or whether their stated wish to pay the Living Wage played no factor in their negotiations. That's the whole point of my request, as was clear from both my question and the background I provided.

Yours sincerely,

Doug Paulley

Doug Paulley left an annotation ()

Time since Internal Review: 20wd up 22 April. 40wd up 21st May.

Sharon Druett, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Paulley,

Re: FW: Complaint - FOI 101000538376 - Freedom of Information request regarding Fees for Residential Care for Younger Adults Ref:101000558513

The original question was as follows

"1) what representations Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) have made to the Council asking for increases in the fees paid for social care provided by them, in order to pay their carers the Living Wage."

Just to clarify our response , we can confirm that no representation had been made to Swindon Borough Council requesting an increase in fees paid in order to pay carers the living wage. The provider stated that an increase was required due to the impact of the national minimum wage, general wage inflation, and significant increases in utility costs.

I hope this answers your outstanding question concerning this request.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me as detailed, quoting the above reference number.


Yours sincerely,



Sharon Druett

Sharon Druett ([email address])
Freedom of Information Officer
Law and Democratic Services
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 463377
Fax: 01793 463405
Web: www.swindon.gov.uk

show quoted sections

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