Wednesday, October 11, 2006

'We've trebled your care costs: but do you have any problems?..'

The Council which last week trebled home care charges for some residents is now offering disabled people someone they can talk to “about any problems they face”.

Wonder how many will want to talk about the problem of how to pay their bill for home care which is going up from £40 to £120 a week after a controversial decision by the all-Tory Executive last week...

After last week’s media mauling over home care charges HERE, Lincolnshire County Council has today put out a press release on “drop-in” advice sessions for disabled people in Gainsborough.

Strangely, the sessions are only “open to anyone with a physical disability between the age of 18 and 64 or their friends and relatives”.

Don’t know why anyone younger than 18 or older than 64 shouldn't be eligible for the same advice...

And I just wonder if this barrier complies with the Government’s new laws on age which came in to effect last week.

I’ll be asking questions…


Anonymous said...

Sorry but I cannot agree with your comment. It is only fair that those who can afford higher charges should pay. £10 an hour is not excessive for care in the home - many councils levy a much higher rate. I am OK with the policy as those who are not in a position to pay will not do so. Whilst I loathe any form of means testing, it seems the only fair way to levy charges (as well as direct rsources to those most in need).

fairdealphil said...

Hi Anonymous:

Don't be sorry. You're entitled to your view and you make fair points.

The problem I have is that the council has not handled the issue in the most sensitive way.

For example, it consulted - but now appears to be ignoring the results of the consultation by failing to effectively phase in the extra charges as reasonably requested by users.

What's the point of asking if you'd like the council to phase in the new charges if you have no intention of phasing-in?

For most people, even moderately well off, suddenly seeing a bill go up from £40 a week to £120 for the same service, is a huge shock.
Also, the council's position does not add up.

Leader of the Council Martin Hill claims only 100 people will have to pay the full amount - the official papers considered by the Executive suggest it will be well over 1,000.

He also claims the reason the charges have to go up so sharply is that they have not been increased for some time.

In fact, they were raised sharply to £5 an hour from (I think) approx £3 an hour, just a couple of years ago.

So the policy appears to be - think of a number. Almost double it. Then double it again.