How a focus on Continuing Health Care could see significant savings for your Local Authority

Continuing Health Care (CHC) funding has always been a hotly debated topic between Adult Social Care departments and the NHS, with both sides vying to ensure they are not paying for packages of care that should be funded by their counterpart.

Unfortunately, Social Workers on the frontline, completing the CHC checklists and decision support tools (DSTs) at multidisciplinary meetings (MDTs) with their colleagues from the NHS, will tell you that the weight of their opinions are far outweighed by the opinions of the NHS assessors. While this shouldn’t be the case, it invariably happens that NHS assessors dominate these meetings and use their interpretation of the legislation to give weight to what they are saying. For those Social Workers who have not been given adequate training on CHC or are maybe new to the role, it can be hard to fight back. What this means is that your Local Authority could be missing out on huge savings as a result.

Why does this mean Local Authorities are losing money?

Put simply, any packages of care the NHS isn’t funding through CHC, in many cases the Local Authority is responsible for funding. Although there are times when a person may be above the financial threshold of £23,250, or may have to make a contribution towards the cost of their care, these care packages can end up costing Local Authorities tens of thousands of pounds a year, when in reality, they should be paid for through CHC funding by the NHS.

This problem can have many root causes for Local Authorities, with Adult Social Care Departments being so stretched and having difficulties with recruitment and retention, it can be hard to train all Social Care staff in CHC funding. It can also be challenging for Local Authorities to have the time to properly assess each case before the MDT where the decision support tool is completed, meaning that Social Workers frequently attend these meetings with little knowledge of the person at the heart of the discussion.

As a result, Local Authorities are paying for packages of care that they shouldn’t be, meaning their budgets are being stretched thinner, leaving fewer resources and funding for other residents who may need it. These savings can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for just one Local Authority.

How can you Local Authority capitalise on these savings?

Of course, there are a number of options here, and training existing staff members is what most Local Authorities would consider the easiest and most cost effective, however this is not the case. Often existing staff do not have the time to attend these training sessions, which can often be multiple days long and a significant expense for Local Authorities, due to high case loads and more pressing work to complete. With the high rate of staff turnover in Social Work at the moment, often the training expense is never realised in savings due to workers leaving.

At Socia Partners, we consider ourselves to be the solution to capitalising on these massive savings. With out bespoke packages of support and highly trained and qualified Social Workers, we can both support your Local Authority to better understand how savings can be made through quality CHC work and then help you to make these savings.

This may seem obvious, but sometimes saving money doesn’t have to be complicated or involve “creative solutions”.


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