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Can the council move my mum to a new home?

Caz-ann

Registered User
Jun 4, 2013
5
Essex
My mum with Alzheimer's has been in a very good care home for over a year self funded and the council are taking over her funding as her savings reached the threshold. They are, however, asking for a top up but they have refused the figure we have offered. It isn't in my mum's best interests to move her for a variety of reasons which I won't go into, and my father can only afford to contribute so much.

What can we do? Can the council move her without our agreement?

Any advice appreciated.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
Unfortunately yes they can & the wording of the New Care Act appears to make it easier. The LA must be able to provide a new CH that is able to meet your Mum's needs within their budget. If they cannot then they have to up their payments till they do.

If you want to keep your Mum where she is then you have to either prove that the home is the only one suitable or pay the top up.

I am really sorry I cannot be more positive.:-(
 

Caz-ann

Registered User
Jun 4, 2013
5
Essex
Thank you Pete - as I thought. Now we have the difficult decision of whether to pay the top up they want - £150 a week which we can't afford - or moving mum. Just waiting on SS to let me know if one other home has a top up. We will have to prove it isn't suitable somehow - we looked at it originally and we didn't like it then. And we chose the one she's in on the basis that it was approved by the council. Wish me luck - already an emotional wreck!
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,915
North Manchester
As Pete R said the LA have to find at least one placement that meets her assessed care needs, whether this costs more than their tariff is irrelevant, they cannot force you to pay top ups.

If you go down the top up route make sure that you pay the tops to the LA not to the home, do not sign anything with the home.

Remember home rates are likely to rise at a faster rate than the LA tariff increasing the top up demanded.

If the only home the LA can find would mean that they have to pay almost as much as the current home your hand for keeping her there is strengthened. Your argument would be that it is against her best interests to move, she is settled and knows the staff and they know her, see if any medical staff will back you up on this.

Insist that the LA nominate at least one home without a top up, look at that home and take it from there.

If they argue about the fact that they have to offer at least one home and if you choose that home they must not ask for a top up remind them of their duty under the Care Act

Page 397
Sec 12 of Annexe A of the Statutory Guidance of the Care Act 2014

A person must not be asked to pay a ‘top-up’ towards the cost of their accommodation because of market inadequacies or commissioning failures and must ensure there is a genuine choice. The local authority therefore must ensure that at least one option is available that is affordable within a person’s personal budget and should ensure that there is more than one. If no preference has been expressed and no suitable accommodation is available at the amount identified in a personal budget, the local authority must arrange care in a more expensive setting and adjust the budget accordingly to ensure that needs are met. In such circumstances, the local authority must not ask for the payment of a ‘top-up’ fee. Only when a person has chosen a more expensive accommodation can a ‘top-up’ payment be sought.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/366104/43380_23902777_Care_Act_Book.pdf
 
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Caz-ann

Registered User
Jun 4, 2013
5
Essex
Thanks for the info Nitram. The SS has given me four homes to look at. One has no top up but it is 2 hours away. Two have a top up but are an hour away (we have stated that this isn't acceptable for the family), and the other is local.

The correspondence they sent me for this one states 'max TPTU' (which I take to mean maximum third party top up) of £51.54. If (and a big if) it's suitable care wise for my mum, and we have agreed we could afford £40 top up, then would I be right to assume that this would be their option 1?
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,915
North Manchester
" One has no top up but it is 2 hours away"

A round trip of 4 hours would surely restrict the amount you, and maybe your mum's friends who rely on walking/local transport, could visit and would not be in her best interests.

What does the CQC say about the home with no top up?

Keep pressing for a home nearer to you with no top up, ie they up their tariff.
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
Your argument would be that it is against her best interests to move, she is settled and knows the staff and they know her, see if any medical staff will back you up on this.
A round trip of 4 hours would surely restrict the amount you, and maybe your mum's friends who rely on walking/local transport, could visit and would not be in her best interests.
I do agree the "best interests" would not be served in the circumstances and is certainly worth trying with the LA however "best interests" does not feature in the New Care Act.

The obligation on the LA is to provide ONE care home that meets needs. If they do that and the person/family decide it is not acceptable a top up has to be paid.

I wish it wasn't so.:(
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
...........then would I be right to assume that this would be their option 1?
There really is no "option 1" for the LA. They will agree to any CH that can meet needs and only costs them what they say is within their budget whether that be the one 2 hours away or one that costs any kind of top up.

It is always worth arguing and trying for a compromise but from experience the New Care Act has given LA's a stronger hand and my experience with dealing mine they surely do recognise that fact.:(
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,915
North Manchester
"..."best interests" does not feature in the New Care Act..."

Maybe not directly but:-

19.19. If it can be shown that a person lacks capacity to make a particular decision, the 2005
Act makes clear who can take decisions on behalf of others, in which situations and how they
should go about doing this. For example, if a person lacks capacity to decide where to live, a
best interests decision about their accommodation should be made under the 2005 Act. Under
section 1(5) of the 2005 Act, any act done, or decision made (which would include a decision
relating to where a person without capacity should live), must be done in the best interests of
the person who lacks capacity. Section 4 of the 2005 Act sets out how to work out the best
interests of a person who lacks capacity and provides a checklist of factors for this purpose.


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/366104/43380_23902777_Care_Act_Book.pdf
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
.....Maybe not directly but:...............
I never said the words "best" & " interest" do not appear in the Act and to suggest otherwise in disingenuous.

Your quote below has nothing to do with this post and you are well aware of that..:rolleyes:


19.19. If it can be shown that a person lacks capacity to make a particular decision, the 2005
Act makes clear who can take decisions on behalf of others, in which situations and how they
should go about doing this. For example, if a person lacks capacity to decide where to live, a
best interests decision about their accommodation should be made under the 2005 Act. Under
section 1(5) of the 2005 Act, any act done, or decision made (which would include a decision
relating to where a person without capacity should live), must be done in the best interests of
the person who lacks capacity. Section 4 of the 2005 Act sets out how to work out the best
interests of a person who lacks capacity and provides a checklist of factors for this purpose.
[/QUOTE]
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,915
North Manchester
Can we agree that the 'Care and Support Statutory Guidance Issued under the Care Act 2014' includes my quote saying that, if a person lacks capacity, where they live is subject to a best interests decision?