Oxfordshire have become the latest trailblazing local authority that have been selected to implement the government’s charging reforms early.
Ensuring a smooth transition from the current system, Oxfordshire joins Wolverhampton, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Newham, and North Yorkshire in the group of local authorities pathing the way and making the changes early ahead of the national roll in the October of next year.
The aforementioned authorities were selected by the government to make sure there was a representative cross section of communities England, so that any insight, evidence or lessons learnt from this project would be available in advance to all providers and local authorities up and down the country.
The changes include the lifetime cap for care costs of £86,000 for anyone receiving care in England, as well as a more generous means test to determine financial support from local services.
The reforms will be funded by the Health and Social Care Levy, which is set to raise over £5.4bn including £3.6bn ringfenced for reforming the ways in which people pay for their social care.
Minister for Care and Mental Health, Gillian Keegan, said: “It’s great to have Oxfordshire join our trailblazers to implement the charging reform early.
“Oxfordshire, along with our other trailblazers, will pave the way ensuring we learn from any insight, evidence and lessons to help providers and local authorities across England in the future. We’re looking forward to working with them to make the ambitious change a reality.”
The changes include nobody with assets of less than £20,000 being required to make a contribution from their savings or housing wealth – constituting a £14,250 increase.
Means-tested support will also be available for people with assets totalling between £20,000 and £100,000, with the upper limit more than four times the current limit.
Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We know reform in adult social care is needed to remove the unpredictable care costs people face as they get older.
“Oxfordshire is a national leader in adult social care and being a part of this small group of early adopters gives us the opportunity to influence how the programme will be rolled out and share our best practice with national government.”
Oxfordshire and the rest of the elected local authorities will work with Department of Health and Social Care to educate and inform the rest of the country via a series of events taking place just before the final launch.
More information on the early reformers is available here.