Is it ok for direct payers and self-funders to pay more for care? | adam HTT

There’s rarely a week that goes by where the plight and strain on the social care system isn’t discussed in some way. What isn’t often talked about is that only 40% of care is actually commissioned by local authorities. The public’s focus centres on the pressures of local authority provision, and with further reductions in budgets taking hold, there is no doubt the social care system is under strain.

But what about the other 60% – the people who are spending their own money? Why is no one talking about them? Should they not still be entitled to support when buying services, too?

The Care Act 2014 states, “A local authority must establish and maintain a service for providing people in its area with information and advice relating to care and support for adults and support for carers.” It goes on to say that the authority must give advice on…“how to access the care and support that is available.” 

There’s rarely a week that goes by where the plight and strain on the social care system isn’t discussed in some way. What isn’t often talked about is that only 40% of care is actually commissioned by local authorities. The public’s focus centres on the pressures of local authority provision, and with further reductions in budgets taking hold, there is no doubt the social care system is under strain.

But what about the other 60% – the people who are spending their own money? Why is no one talking about them? Should they not still be entitled to support when buying services, too?

The Care Act 2014 states, “A local authority must establish and maintain a service for providing people in its area with information and advice relating to care and support for adults and support for carers.” It goes on to say that the authority must give advice on…“how to access the care and support that is available.”

This is a step in the right direction, but what nobody seems to be talking about is how direct payers and self-funders receive a tougher deal than those coming through the council. A recent survey from the CCN and analyst LaingBuisson highlighted that self-funders are being charged more than those placed through councils, to help plug care providers’ shortfall in income. Although Councils are securing lower rates, self-funders are being charged, on average, 40% more across the 12 councils studied.

That is, providers are charging 40% for the same service! When tour operators inflate prices over the summer period, we’re all up in arms. Why is there not the same reaction in a market that’s had more than its fair share of publicity?

And here lies the crux of the issue: no one is fighting the corner of the 60%; they have no voice and there are very few councils are trying to make sure they get a fair deal. Why? Maybe it’s because the limited resources at councils make dealing with the other 40% a big enough task. Maybe there’s a concern that by fighting for the direct payers cause, the councils could jeopardise the price they pay for services. Maybe it’s the lack of transparency and self-funders and direct payers don’t realise how much they should – or shouldn’t – be paying for their care. The truth is that people are being ripped off when they should be entitled to the same buying power and quality as the councils.

So here’s the question – can we have all buyers of care services paying an equal and affordable price from the same quality providers? Without question, the answer is yes.

This is why we’ve created an online community that creates a fair playing field between service users, providers and the local authority. Individuals can buy like a council, from the same pool of approved providers who are all submitting offers to meet the individual’s requirements and have fair market pricing as part of the deal. It’s more choice, more information, better quality and value for money care.

But it’s a system where everyone benefits. Good providers have access to more users, more transparency over the market and the ability to demonstrate their abilities. And local authorities benefit: The market becomes more efficient, reduces the reliance on authority funded social care, and the authority also meets other obligations of the Care Act of managing the entire market.

Is it OK that those wanting control of their own care have no-one championing their cause? Should they really be paying more for the same service? Local Authorities have the opportunity to give all of their citizens access to the same service, regardless of who those services are going to be caring for.

adam HTT Limited t/a adam is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales.

Registered number: 7718565

Copyright © 2020 adam HTT Limited t/a adam
Registered Office:
The Pinnacle, 170 Midsummer Boulevard,
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BP,
United Kingdom