Published: Friday, 5th November 2021

Rebuttal to adult social care article

A council spokesperson said:

"The council reaffirms its previous response on this matter which was supplied to 853 on 15 October 2021. 

"It would not be appropriate for the council to make any further comment as this matter is the subject of ongoing court proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. The same applies to any other party involved in the proceedings.”

Response to 853 request for comment - 15 October 2021

Telecare charging

The Royal Borough of Greenwich carried out a Social Care Charging: Equality Impact Assessment, the results of which properly informed the development and implementation of the council’s charging policy. It also led to the development of several measures to mitigate any hardship experienced by residents in relation to various aspects of the policy. Staff, including the Telecare team, have been made aware of the EIA, which covers all of the Health and Adult Services consultation.

This consultation was sent to all customers and, subsequently, all Telecare clients were written to individually, advising them that the charging was to be implemented. Telecare clients who asked for their service to be withdrawn have had an assessment carried out to ensure that they are not at risk due to having the service removed. Additionally, customers have been offered a referral to our welfare rights service to ascertain whether they may be entitled to additional benefits to cover these costs.

Royal Borough of Greenwich staff have been made aware of the various referral pathways open to borough residents, as well as the opportunities that are available to offer residents financial advice and support.

Our Telecare service continues to exceed industry-standard response rates. We currently answer 98.5% of all alarm activations within one minute (industry standard is 97.5%) and – where a physical response is needed – we attend 94.3% of all visits within 45 minutes (industry standard is 80%). Despite difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to surpass these key performance indicators.

Better Care Fund

The £13m figure quoted was generated in 2015 as part of an Adults Transformation Programme, which was before the creation of iBCF. In subsequent years, work was to be undertaken to transform the existing service (the aim was to provide a more efficient service to customers and would also see spend taken back to levels from a few years previous to that).

Subsequent to the creation of that programme, new resources in the form of iBCF were then received to account for factors such as:

  • meeting adult social care needs
  • reducing pressures on the NHS, including supporting more people to be discharged from hospital when they are ready
  • ensuring that the local social care provider market is supported.

While adult social care funding is spent from the general fund, both BCF and iBCF funding are applied to adults’ resources for use on adult social care. Use of funding grants are signed off jointly, with integrated commissioning across the council and the CCG. The Royal Borough of Greenwich and Greenwich CCG have worked, and continue to work, closely together in the delivery of services to Royal Greenwich residents. The CCG is content with arrangements and the council’s accounts are signed off by the independent external auditor.