Officer Decisions

Head of Adult Commissioning and Health - Tim Golby

Summary of Matter or Issue Requiring Decision:

The award of inflation with regard to fees for care homes

Decision Taken:

To award an inflationary increase to the banded fee rates for care homes and care homes with nursing, in line with the decision taken in 2015 to increase fees at a rate calculated each September, plus an additional 1.5% each year (2017/18 being the final of the three years). In 2017/2018 this will be an aggregate increase (across the four bands) of 2.1%, plus an additional 1.5%.

To also award inflation to non-banded fees. For 2017/18 this will be 2.1%

Summary of Reason(s) for Decision Taken:

Devon County Council sets an annual fee rate which reflects the cost of care it expects to pay for care and accommodation of individuals with an eligible need.

The Council has an established financial model which it has used over a number of years to calculate the cost of care. The essential elements of this model do not change from year to year, but the figures associated with those elements do change to reflect inflation and changes in the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage.

To provide certainty for the provider market and allow them to carry out some medium term business planning it was determined in 2015 to follow this approach to increases for the next three years and to provide an additional 1.5% increase on top of any increase that resulted from the annual inflation uplift to assist providers with possible future changes in the sector which may come about from the Care Act, and to invest in the future for those who work in the care industry.

During March and April 2017, the Council consulted on its proposals. The consultation received limited responses, although a few were very detailed. These responses were considered by officers but were not assessed as substantive enough to require any change to the proposed increase.

However, the Council is working with its CCG partners on a new approach to the commissioning of care homes which it is anticipated will take effect from April 2018. The wider issues raised by providers during this consultation that were outside of the parameters of that consultation will be carefully considered in that context.

The Decision Maker has given due regard to the Consultation Document, the Equality Impact Assessment, the Financial Model, market conditions and all consultation feedback. Following due consideration of these documents, the Decision Maker reached the decision set out above.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:

To carry out a full re-run of the financial model as part of this consultation. This was rejected because the Council and its NHS partners are already reviewing their commissioning approach, which will be applied from 2018/19.
To make an award greater than the offer. Rejected as the offer is fair and reasonable and provides for both inflationary pressures included in the model plus an additional 1.5% above inflation.
To award no increase in fees from the 2016/17 levels. This was rejected as being unreasonable in light of increased costs being experienced by providers through increases in National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage and inflation

Details of any conflict of interest and dispensation granted to the Officer taking the decision or by any Member of the Council in delegating responsibility for any specific express delegation:

None

Contact for enquiries/further information: Ian Hobbs, Senior Manager, Adult Commissioning and Health, ian.hobbs@devon.gov.uk, 01932383000
Decision Date: 17 May 2017

A copy of this decision and any supporting documentation considered by the Officer taking this decision may also be made available or inspection by the public at the Council’s Offices or posted upon payment of any copying and postage charges. Any member of the public wishing to take up either of these options is asked to please ring 01392 382888 or email: members.services@devon.gov.uk