Issue details

Decision to award the contract for an on-line financial assessment tool to Looking Local

The government is changing how personal care is paid for from October 2023. It will introduce:
• A new £86,000 lifetime cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care over their lifetime; only personal client contributions will count towards the cap
• An extended means test, enabling state support for anyone with up to £100,000 of assets (current limit £23,250), and ensuring that anyone with assets under £20,000 will not have to pay anything for their care from their assets. They will still contribute towards their care from their available income.

Whilst the changes above become law in October 2023, local authorities can start to prepare by undertaking care and financial assessments from April 2023.
The introduction of these reforms impacts on system and workforce capacity requirements for local authorities. Herefordshire Council must implement system changes in line with operational guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care and increase its workforce and operational efficiency as required to meet additional demands for assessments and commissioning care.
It is recognised that there are opportunities for digital technology to supplement and enhance the process for conducting financial assessments and operational efficiency.
Self-service provision can speed up the assessment process and frees up financial assessment officer time to deal with more complex cases and provide customer focus.
Moving financial assessments earlier into the assessment process via a self-service model enables service users or their families to complete the form in their own time, and can inform people of any potential contributions upfront reducing stress through financial uncertainty.

Where home visits are still necessary, officers can utilise the tool to record financial assessments, reducing paper usage, and time spent scanning and indexing documents.

People eligible for help with care needs are likely to be eligible for other benefits. This product also ensures people are aware of benefits they are entitled to, giving them a direct route to apply for them via the BetterOff product that the council current uses.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 17/11/2022

Decision due: 28 October 2022 by Corporate Director - Community Wellbeing

Contact: Hilary Hall, Corporate Director Community Wellbeing Email: