Social Care Charges

1.  In your local authority, on the latest date for which figures were available, how many people paid charges for social care, including those who pay for:-

– home care

– day care

– community alarms

– other non-residential community care services? 

(please give separate figures for each category)

As at 25th June 2017, 2,686 bills were sent to people receiving an ongoing non-residential package.  Devon County Council (DCC) is unable to break this down into the categories listed above under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.  Under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 public authorities are not obliged to comply with requests which exceed the cost limit of £450 (equating to 18 hours of time).

Whilst the information you have requested does sit within our electronic and paper filing systems, these systems are not set up to easily provide us with the type of information you have requested.

DCC does not categorise invoices into the categories listed above, and to do this would entail reviewing each bill individually.  On the basis of 1 minute per bill, we estimate that this would take in the region of 45 hours to do.

However, if you are able to refine your request so that it may fall within the cost limit as described above, we would be happy to review your request.

2.  How people are currently in arrears of payment of their social care charges? 

On the assumption that we are still referring only to non-residential care services, DCC considers a person to be in arrears if their care charges have not been paid within 12 weeks of the bill being issued.

As at 25th June 2017, DCC had 224 ongoing packages of care with charges being unpaid after 12 weeks and a further 161 cases where the package of care had ceased being unpaid after 12 weeks.

3.  How many people currently have debt management procedures commenced against them by your authority for non-payment of social care charges?

Our debt management process requires a reminder being sent up to the 12 week stage.  It is at that point that our debt management procedure would commence.  Therefore, as at 25th June 2017, all 385 people mentioned in (2) above would have had debt management procedures commenced.

4.  How many people have been taken to court to enforce non payment of social care changes in 2016/17 and 2015/16?