Fair and Affordable Care Policy Consultation

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Consultation has concluded

Why are we consulting?

Bristol City Council recognises that sometimes adults need support to live independently. Support can come in many different forms, and people can access this themselves or with the help of the council. The council promotes adults' independence, choice, and ability to make decisions about the care and support they receive.

The Care Act (2014) and its Statutory Guidance sets out the duties of local authorities to offer an assessment to anyone who appears to have needs for care and support. This is normally called a Care Act Assessment. Councils are required to ensure that any eligible needs that are identified in the assessment are met.

Like many organisations, Bristol City Council is facing a cost of operating crisis, due to rising costs of goods, energy and services, reduced government funding, and increasing demand for the services the council provides. Despite this, the Council remains under the duty to ensure it has sufficient resources to meet the needs of all persons who require care and support in its area. Accordingly, it proposes to take pre-emptive measures to ensure that it does not fall foul of this duty and that it allocates its finite resources as equitably and efficiently as possible.

The Care Act Statutory guidance sets out that when deciding how to meet people's eligible needs, the local authority may take into reasonable consideration its own finances and budgetary position and must ensure that the funding available to the Council is sufficient to meet the needs of the entire local population. The Council is therefore permitted consider how to balance that requirement with the duty to meet the eligible needs of an individual in determining how an individual’s needs should be met. This generally means choosing the option that delivers the ‘best value’ to the local authority.

The local authority is not permitted to set arbitrary upper limits on the costs it is willing to pay to meet needs through certain routes but it may take decisions on a case-by-case basis which weigh up the total costs of different potential options for meeting needs, and include the cost as a relevant factor in deciding between suitable alternative options for meeting needs. This does not mean choosing the cheapest option; but the one which delivers the outcomes desired for the best value.

We have developed the draft Fair and Affordable Care policy in response to current financial pressures and the need to ensure we have sufficient resources to meet the needs of all the people who might need care and support. This policy will also support greater equity and transparency for people around our decision-making.

On 6th June 2023, Bristol City Council Full Cabinet approved this policy for public consultation.


What is the Fair and Affordable Care Policy

This policy was drawn from the Fair and Affordable Care policy of a comparator South West local authority and subsequently co-produced and amended with the Bristol City Council Adult Social Care Equalities Forum.

The policy sets out how we intend to ensure best value and cost-effectiveness when identifying how we meet an individual's needs.

The policy is a restatement of how we calculate an individual's personal budget in line with current statutory guidance.

The policy states that "we will usually look to arrange the option that delivers the desired outcomes for the best value. This will usually, but not necessarily always, be the option that meets the person's assessed needs most efficiently."

While we will always take all reasonable steps to reach agreement with the individual concerned about how it should meet their needs., there may be occasions where the support offered will not be the individual's preference or first choice.

Every individual is different, and individual circumstances will be taken into account. There might be some exceptions where Bristol City Council will agree to fund a more expensive care package if this is considered by the Council to be required to promote their well-being.

We have the following alternative formats currently available:


Consultation

We consulted on the Fair and Affordable Care Policy from 18 September 2023 to 31 January 2024.

Why are we consulting?

Bristol City Council recognises that sometimes adults need support to live independently. Support can come in many different forms, and people can access this themselves or with the help of the council. The council promotes adults' independence, choice, and ability to make decisions about the care and support they receive.

The Care Act (2014) and its Statutory Guidance sets out the duties of local authorities to offer an assessment to anyone who appears to have needs for care and support. This is normally called a Care Act Assessment. Councils are required to ensure that any eligible needs that are identified in the assessment are met.

Like many organisations, Bristol City Council is facing a cost of operating crisis, due to rising costs of goods, energy and services, reduced government funding, and increasing demand for the services the council provides. Despite this, the Council remains under the duty to ensure it has sufficient resources to meet the needs of all persons who require care and support in its area. Accordingly, it proposes to take pre-emptive measures to ensure that it does not fall foul of this duty and that it allocates its finite resources as equitably and efficiently as possible.

The Care Act Statutory guidance sets out that when deciding how to meet people's eligible needs, the local authority may take into reasonable consideration its own finances and budgetary position and must ensure that the funding available to the Council is sufficient to meet the needs of the entire local population. The Council is therefore permitted consider how to balance that requirement with the duty to meet the eligible needs of an individual in determining how an individual’s needs should be met. This generally means choosing the option that delivers the ‘best value’ to the local authority.

The local authority is not permitted to set arbitrary upper limits on the costs it is willing to pay to meet needs through certain routes but it may take decisions on a case-by-case basis which weigh up the total costs of different potential options for meeting needs, and include the cost as a relevant factor in deciding between suitable alternative options for meeting needs. This does not mean choosing the cheapest option; but the one which delivers the outcomes desired for the best value.

We have developed the draft Fair and Affordable Care policy in response to current financial pressures and the need to ensure we have sufficient resources to meet the needs of all the people who might need care and support. This policy will also support greater equity and transparency for people around our decision-making.

On 6th June 2023, Bristol City Council Full Cabinet approved this policy for public consultation.


What is the Fair and Affordable Care Policy

This policy was drawn from the Fair and Affordable Care policy of a comparator South West local authority and subsequently co-produced and amended with the Bristol City Council Adult Social Care Equalities Forum.

The policy sets out how we intend to ensure best value and cost-effectiveness when identifying how we meet an individual's needs.

The policy is a restatement of how we calculate an individual's personal budget in line with current statutory guidance.

The policy states that "we will usually look to arrange the option that delivers the desired outcomes for the best value. This will usually, but not necessarily always, be the option that meets the person's assessed needs most efficiently."

While we will always take all reasonable steps to reach agreement with the individual concerned about how it should meet their needs., there may be occasions where the support offered will not be the individual's preference or first choice.

Every individual is different, and individual circumstances will be taken into account. There might be some exceptions where Bristol City Council will agree to fund a more expensive care package if this is considered by the Council to be required to promote their well-being.

We have the following alternative formats currently available:


Consultation

We consulted on the Fair and Affordable Care Policy from 18 September 2023 to 31 January 2024.