Agenda item

Adult Social Care: Respite Charging


The Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Public Health, Public Protection and Digital Inclusion submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.


The report sought approval for the proposed changes to the charging policy for respite care services.


The Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance identified that Carers played a significant role in preventing the need for care and support for the people they cared for. Local authorities must have considered interventions which could prevent Carers from developing needs for care and support themselves, as result of their caring responsibilities. One of those interventions was a period of residential respite stay for the cared for person, allowing the carer time to take a break from their caring duties.


In 2019 a review of respite charging was commenced. The position at that time was that all respite care was charged at a flat rate, irrespective of the savings of the service user, which was contributing to a loss of revenue to the Council. The average cost of a stay for one week in a Middlesbrough care home at the time was £550, however all adults using this facility in Middlesbrough were being charged the flat rate fee of £140.35. The recommendation was that the cost of respite care would be means tested, as with all other social care provision, and would be charged according to ability to pay.


The review recommendations would bring Middlesbrough Council in line with the charging practice of neighbouring local authorities. A level 1 impact assessment was carried out which determined that the policy would not adversely affect the Human Rights, Equality or Community Cohesion of the service user group.




The Council could have maintained the current charging system; however, this was discounted due to the practice issues that had arisen.


The Council could have reverted to the system in place prior to the 2019 review, however this would no longer be fit for purpose.




That Executive approve the amendment to the respite care charging system. This would mean the Council no longer contracted for respite care for self-funding service users. This would include removing the current subsidy for those who have been in receipt of respite care prior to July 2020.


This requires the following steps to be implemented:


·         Care homes would be advised that the Local Authority would only contract for respite care for those who had savings below the threshold;

·         Subsidy for existing self-funders receiving respite care would cease; and

·         All individuals with savings over £23,500 would pay the care home directly at the home’s self-funding fee rate. 




The Council felt the implementation of the above steps would align respite charging with charging for all other residential services.


This in turn would support the Council with the preparation for the care cap whereby all self-funders would inform the Local Authority of respite charges paid to care home providers and this would contribute to their care account. The current two-tier system placed the Council in a position where those currently paying the flat rate were not clearly identified as self-funders. This may have led to the Local Authority failing to track their care account effectively.


The changes also ensured the Council maximised service user contributions and removed any budget pressures that had arisen from undercharging existing recipients of respite care. The changes also removed pressures that had arisen by payment of additional respite charges to rectify fee challenges that the new system had created.

Supporting documents: