Fairer Contributions

Closed 3 Feb 2010

Opened 3 Nov 2009

Feedback Updated 26 Jan 2011

We Asked

About how we implement the new system for calculating people's contribution to the cost of their adult care services, required by Government

You Said

(Also see report) Clear information in various formats, trained staff to advise, transition period.

We Did

An information pack is available, all users to receive a letter and leaflet, 12mth transition. All formats available and worked examples.

Results Updated 1 Feb 2017

See attached summary of results.




Adult and Local Services, Cumbria County Council has taken the first step in implementing a new national scheme for calculating the way people pay for their home and day care. In July 2009 the Department of Health issued guidance forl councils on how they should charge people for non-residential adult social care services. The guidance was called 'Fairer Contributions: Calculating an Individual's Contribution to their Personal Budget' and must be implemented from April 2010. Cumbria County Council's Cabinet, agreed to begin the process which will see the changes coming into effect in 2010. People who attend day care centres or receive home care currently pay on a per-unit basis for that care (ie per full day or half day at a day care centre or per hour for home care). Under the new system, people will pay a percentage of the cost of the care they are receiving, while the county council will subsidise the remainder. The new system is designed to be fairer for all people in that the payments being made better reflect the actual care. It is also part of the wider introduction of personal budgets, where people receiving care have a greater say in how they tailor their care package to their own needs. At time of writing it is impossible to say how individuals will be affected because the county council has not yet set its draft budget for 2010/11, so has not yet decided what percentage of the cost of care it will be asking individuals to pay. The new system does not change the maximum charge. It also does not change the way the council undertakes financial assessments nor does it treat the income, disability-related expenditure or savings of service users any differently. The same exemptions for charging which currently exist for community equipment, minor adaptations and services provided under section 117 of the 1983 Mental Health Act will apply under the new system. The county council has already set aside £150,000 to implement the new way of charging. Cumbria County Council will be working closely with voluntary organisations to make the changes and assess what it will mean for individuals, while keeping service users informed every step of the way. Organisations involved include Age Concern, Cumbria Disability Network, Cumbria Mental Health Group, Mencap, People First, Cumbria Partnership Board and Cumbria Link.

Cllr Eddie Martin, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for adult social care, said: These can be very emotive issues as we're dealing with how much money some of the most vulnerable people in our society should pay for their care. What we do know is that we have no choice and must implement the new system. We also know that for many people it will mean greater flexibility in how they shape their own package of care to suit their own needs.

What we don't yet know is what this will mean for individuals. Some people may end up paying more, some may pay less and some remain the same. But we are committed to working with the voluntary sector to making the changes clear once we know what it means for service users. It is important for people to bear in mind that the changes will not take place until April 2010. If anyone has any concerns or queries at this early stage, they should discuss those with the business support team in their local adult social care office.

In Cumbria the current level of charges for day care are £10 per day and £5 per half day while home care is charged at £11.32 per hour up to a maximum of £200 per week. These equate to 45% of the cost of day care and 60% of the cost of home care for older adults.



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