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:

 

  1. To award an inflationary increase to the banded fee rates, such increase to be set at a rate calculated each September, plus an additional 1.5% each year for each of the next three years. In 2015/2016 this will be a total increase of 3.2%
  2. To award inflation, calculated each September to non-banded fees. For 2015/16 this will be 1.7%
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 the past two years to calculate the cost of care. As 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 Minimum Wage, the Council proposed to increase those elements using inflationary measures and any annual change to NMW. To provide certainty for the provider market and allow them to carry out some medium term business planning it was proposed to follow this approach to increases for the next three years. In addition, it was proposed 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 2015, the Council consulted on its proposals. The consultation received limited responses. These responses were considered by officers however, they did not challenge the proposals being consulted upon. The Council recognises that provider feedback is invaluable in assisting it to monitor developments in the provider market and shall explore the issues raised in the consultation responses.

The Decision Maker has given due regard to the Consultation Document, the Equality Impact Assessment, the Financial Model, the Market Position Statement and the consultation feedback set out in a Recommendation Report. Following due consideration of these documents, the Decision Maker reached the decision set out above.

Summary of Alternatives or Options considered and rejected:
  1. To only award for one year. This was rejected as it does not provide certainty to the provider market in order for them to undertake medium term financial planning.
  2. To carry out a full re-run of the financial model. This was rejected because the Council believes its model to be robust, having fully tested it last year, re-running the model would require significant Council resources to be dedicated to such an exercise and the only material changes in between last year and this are the changes in inflation and National Minimum Wage.
  3. To make an award greater than the offer. Rejected as the offer is fair and reasonable and provides for an additional 1.5% above inflation.
  4. To award no increase in fees from the 2014/15 levels. This was rejected as being unreasonable in light of increased costs being experienced by providers through increases in 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:

There are no conflicts of interest

Contact for enquiries/further information: Tim Golby
Decision Date: 28 April 2015

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