Residential care – direct payments delayed until 2020
Community Care has reported the government has delayed the planned implementation of direct payments for long-term residential care until 2020.
Following a pilot in 17 local authorities the Department of Health had been intending to introduce the policy in 2016 under the Care Act 2014, but it has now decided to delay this for four years, meaning that in most authorities, direct payments will only be available for community-based care and short stays in care homes of no more than four consecutive weeks.
The Department of Health has said that anyone currently receiving a direct payment for their long-term residential care will be able to continue doing so. Also, the 17 pilot sites will have the opportunity to continue offering direct payments to service users in long-term residential care, though they may instead opt to cease doing so until 2020.
The other element of the Care Act reforms whose implementation has been delayed until 2020 is the provision to allow self-funders to have local authorities arrange their care in a care home.
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