Keeping up with proposed changes in the adult social care system can be bewildering. The consensus in the sector, however, is that we’re a long way from the promised ‘once and for all fix.’
However, there are steps that commissioners and brokerage teams can take right now to make the local system more joined up. It isn’t all bad news as we’ll explain later.
Whether it’s funding, workforce reform or making social care affordable for all people, recent proposals fall well short of what’s needed. And if significant gaps in funded social care provision will remain for the foreseeable future, to what extent will third sector organisations be needed to step in?
Perhaps the ultimate absurdity is that the social care cap amendment voted through the House of Commons could make it unviable for many people with modest means to get the care they need in their own home from 2023 onwards.
Under the new system, anyone with assets worth less than £100,000 will receive means-tested support. However, this support won’t count towards the £86,000 cap. Also the value of your home is no longer excluded from the means testing calculation for domiciliary care.
We know that care at home is preferred by many people. It’s also much cheaper than either a care home or being in hospital when there’s nowhere else for you to go. Will less well-off people be expected to sell their home so that they can receive care in it? And will financial realities mean a more significant role for third sector organisations?
You have to question how many MPs really understand the details and implications of what they voted for?
Home First Discharge
Making care at home affordable and accessible is cost-effective in the long run. The Home First Discharge Policy underlines just how important a flourishing home care sector is for freeing up hospital beds and tackling growing waiting lists.
The ‘pointers’ published by the LGA to help trusts and LAs promote faster home discharges also envisages a more formal role for the third sector:
‘Create alternatives to domiciliary care directly from the hospital or reablement service – such as live-in care, personal assistants, voluntary sector, informal carer support, or 72hour /24hour wrap-around care provision.’
Maybe all of this means that an efficient mechanism is needed to engage the third sector and ensure that their contribution has the biggest possible impact. Well, the good news is that essentially, this is another care brokerage task that can be administered more cheaply and effectively through the cloud-based eBrokerage by UDMS solution.
The platform can be implemented within a few weeks to manage all types of care brokerage and is easy to procure through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.