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Essex Mencap is the copyright holder of this site and content may not be copied without permission - 2016
Increased charges for social care in Essex
Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey regarding the County Council's revised policy for charging for social care support. The replies made painful reading.
Please see below the correspondence trail that we began following the analysis of the survey.
To see the original letter of protest sent by Essex Mencap and Essex Carers Network to Essex County Council click here
To see the response to the letter of protest from Cllr Spence, Essex County Council click here
To see Essex Mencap and Essex Carers Network response to Cllr Spence, Essex County Council click here
Essex Mencap and Essex Carers Network have sent a response to its members - click here
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In conjunction with Essex Carers' Network, Essex Mencap has protested to Essex County Council regarding the punitive charges some members face as a consequence of the revised charging policy introduced earlier this year.
Most of the complaints we have received concern items of disability related expenditure which are no longer being taken into account when charges are assessed. Several families have said that their weekly charges have risen from nil to over £100. This means that a disabled person can be over £5000 a year worse off than before – a staggering blow which must limit their lifestyle severely.
We have since received a reply from Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, in which he reiterates the Council's obligation to ensure the financial sustainability of the Council on behalf of all Essex residents. He goes on to say that the Council will always ensure that adults are left with the minimum level of income set by the Secretary of State. This is called the MIG and is the sum of money which the Government considers is required by individuals to live on. What concerns our members is that this minimum amount may not take full account of the abnormal expenditure some people are faced with to meet their disability related needs.
We now have a copy of the guidance which has been issued to social workers when they are called on to advise as to what expenditure is to be accepted as genuine disability related. If any member feels that their assessment is unjust because significant items of disability related expenditure are being ignored, please phone Peter (01376 324765). We may be able to supply information to help you to challenge the assessment you have received. You can ask for an assessment to be reviewed at any time by telephoning the Council's financial assessment team on 0800 0858176 or on 03330 135895.
One piece of good news is that Councillor Spence has called for a review of the implementation of the changes and will, as part of that review, consider whether the impact has been disproportionate on any group. Essex Mencap has, of course, welcomed this news but has asked that they be given the opportunity of submitting evidence to the review.
Keep an eye on this website for up-to-date news.
ASK - LISTEN - DO
Do you know hove to raise concerns and make complaints about health, social care or education?
NHS England are launching a new project entitled Ask Listen Do and they need to gather some feedback via a short survey - click here to access the Easy Read version of the survey - please complete and return your responses by 12 January 2018