Councils to receive funds to implement charging reforms

Gillian Keegan, minister for care and mental health

Local authorities will receive more than £15m to help them implement charging reforms that aim to bring an end to unpredictable costs of care.

Introduction of charging reform, which will include a cap on the cost of care and a more generous means test, will lead to an increase in demand for additional assessments and will require councils in England to upgrade IT systems to record and maintain care accounts.

The £15.5m will be shared by councils to hire additional staff, prepare their workforce, and recruit dedicated IT workers to oversee the implementation of the care accounts.

Further support will be made available later to strengthen capacity and support implementation of technology.

An additional £2.9m will also be distributed across local authorities to cover the costs of implementing charging reform early.

To ensure a smooth transition to a new system Wolverhampton, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Newham and North Yorkshire councils have been chosen to implement charging reforms in January to offer insight, evidence and lessons learned that will be useful to providers and local authorities before a rollout across England.

‘Our charging reforms will mean no one will have to face unpredictable and often catastrophic care costs and this new funding will help local authorities to implement these vital changes,’ said minister for care Gillian Keegan.

‘We’re committed to fair and high-quality care, and this is the beginning of our journey of reform, creating the next step in making our ambitious plans a reality.

‘We’re working closely with local authorities, providers and care receivers to deliver a smooth transition into the new system to end unpredictable cost of care for the public.’

The health and social care levy will raise more than £5.4bn for adult social care reforms that includes £3.6bn to change the way people pay for their social care. This is part of wider reforms backed by £39bn to clear the Covid backlogs and reform social care.

From October 2023 no-one starting to receive care will pay more than £86,000 over their lifetime, and people with assets of less than £20,000 will not have to make any contribution from their savings or housing wealth – up from £14,250. Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be eligible for some means-tested support.