MANCHESTER SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Self-funders are adults who arrange and pay for their own care in full. This may be funded from their own financial arrangements, or another private source such as a family member.
The Care Act 2014 enables a self-funder to ask the local authority to arrange their care on their behalf. Where the person requires care in a care home to meet their needs, the local authority may respond to the person’s request by meeting their needs and arranging their placement in a suitable home of their choice. Where the person requires some other type of care, including other types of accommodation to which the right to a choice applies, the local authority must meet those needs. In such circumstances, whether because the authority chooses to meet needs in a care home, or is required to meet needs in some other type of accommodation, the same rules on choice must apply to self-funders as to those whose care and support needs are partly or wholly funded by the local authority.
The Care Act provides for self-funders to receive an assessment and care and support plan from the local authority. There is no difference in practice between the assessment and care and support planning process for self-funders than for people receiving financial support from the local authority.
The local authority may enter into a contract with the preferred provider, or may broker the contract on behalf of the person. Where the local authority is arranging and managing the contract with the provider, it should ensure that there are clear arrangements in place as to how the costs will be met, including any ‘top-up’ element.
The local authority should ensure robust contractual arrangements are in place that clearly set out where responsibilities for costs lie and ensure that the person understands those arrangements. Self-funders will have to pay for the costs of their care and support including, in cases where they choose a setting that is more expensive than the amount identified in their personal budget, the top-up element of the costs of that setting.
In order to prepare for the implementation of the capped costs system in April 2020, the local authority should take steps to identify the number of ‘self-funders’ in its local area. It should consider specific groups who would benefit most from the introduction of the cap on care costs, and may be most likely to approach the authority; for example:
The provision of high quality advice and information equally applies to self-funders. Practitioners should promote the use of Help and Support Manchester where possible to the individual, their family or carers. This will ensure that they can access the range of no cost / low cost services available to other citizens.