Professionals and Practitioners

Paying for Adult Social Care Services – contributions consultation

Hampshire residents were asked for their views on plans to change the way they contribute towards the costs of the care they receive.

Proposed changes

This consultation has now closed

Closing date: 14 January 2011

Read the outcome of the consultation - Hampshire County Council's Contributions Procedure


Currently most, but not all, adult social care services are charged for, with service users contributing towards the cost of the services they use based on their financial circumstances.

The plans for a revised contributions-based policy would bring services under one umbrella and ensure that people choosing from the range of non residential and short term residential services would contribute based on their ability to pay not the services they choose.

Full details of the proposed changes can be found in the report that went to Hampshire County Council Cabinet on 27th September Microsoft Word 292kb

Services which would be directly affected

All non-residential and short-term residential services would come under the umbrella of the proposed policy, to view this policy download  a copy of the Table of Adult Social Care services – current and potential future charges Microsoft Word 73kb There are certain services which we are required to provide free of charge through legislation. These are:

  • Services for people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act  1983 Section 117
  • Services provided to people suffering from any form of Creuzfeldt Jacob Disease (CJD)
  • Intermediate care services of up to 6 weeks
  • Community equipment up to £1000
  • Assessment of community care needs and advice about the availability of services

The Council is seeking a contribution towards the cost of all other services. This includes day care and support worker services which we have not charged for previously. Service users would pay a single contribution towards their total budget for personal care, based on a financial assessment. The Council would meet the balance. The aim is that people would use the money more flexibly to choose from a wider range of services to meet their needs and aspirations. For example, to occasionally have support worker hours to pursue a personal interest, as an alternative to going to a day centre each week.

Crisis response services for up to six weeks, and services used by carers would continue to be free. The consultation asked for people’s views on whether we should consider seeking contributions from carers and people who use crisis response services at some point in the future.

How the new system would work

New statutory guidance requires councils who charge for services to do so through service user contributions to their personal budget for social care (based on their financial circumstances). This budget is used by service users to buy services of their choice to meet their assessed needs, or they may ask the Council to do this for them. The proposed new policy would bring all services for which the council may seek a contribution under this one system.  

Why Hampshire County Council wants to change the current system

The way adult social care is provided in England is changing, and with service users wanting more choice and control over their care and support, and new services being developed to meet their needs, we believe the time is right to review our charging policy to ensure it is consistent and transparent. Service users will be able to chose the services which are right for them rather than think about the individual cost.

People who may be affected by the changes

Around 13,000 people use non residential care services arranged by Hampshire County Council. We estimate that approximately 60 per cent would not be affected as they are either on low incomes or already paying the most they can afford. Some 40 per cent would be affected but to what extent would depend on their individual financial circumstances.

Consideration of the feedback

Cabinet will consider the feedback from the public consultation in February this year, and will then decide which changes to implement. These will be communicated after the Cabinet meeting on 28 February.

Implementation of any changes

We would implement any changes in July 2011.

If you would like more information or if you would like to talk to someone about the consultation please call Adult Services on 0845 6035630.