Charging Reform Webinar Recap

Trailblazer Blackpool’s take on a ‘digital first’ approach

Yesterday we hosted our biggest adult social care charging reform webinar to date, with a massive turnout of over 160 delegates from 60 different councils around England.

Charging reform webinar recap

We began by asking the question of what brought everyone to the webinar. We received a variety of answers ranging from how the trailblazers (Blackpool) are preparing for the charging reforms and how they’re managing their resources, to the specific functionalities of our range of BetterCare products. The common theme for attendees was being fully informed about what our solutions can do to handle the incoming surge of new people that will now be eligible for financial and care support.

After the initial introductions, we kicked off with a whistle stop tour of both BetterCare Finance and BetterCare Support. This set the scene for our discussion with Blackpool’s Lucia Plant and later talks of our Independent Personal Budget & Care Cap project development – which has officially kicked off.

We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to host trailblazer Blackpool’s Lucia Plant (Lead for Care Act, Better Care Fund, Projects and Policy) for a discussion about their unique position of being first in line to implement the new charging reforms ahead of the rest of the country, and how digital is playing a role in empowering Blackpool’s population to self-serve.

Charging Reform Webinar Recap - Blackpool Council

There was a great deal of interest in what Lucia had to say about Blackpool’s position at the forefront of implementing these charging reforms – and she revealed how many local authorities are seeking feedback from Blackpool in relation to the reforms, especially councils that share similar problems to them such as their relatively small size.

She finished with 3 key things for all councils to consider when preparing for October 2023. The first being to start talking with your staff and service users early as these are areas from which the council can learn. Secondly she recommended that councils begin to consider their likely demand and what processes they have in place to handle that – using her own council as an example, Blackpool have been focusing on the independent personal budget (IPB). Finally she recommended that councils think about the new audience heading their way and how they can adapt their culture to match the shift – for Blackpool the amount of self-funders they’re expecting to see poses a question mark as they’ve yet to have any experience handling them.

Charging Reform Webinar Recap - IPB Cofund

We then moved onto the section of the webinar dedicated to the IPB & Care Cap collaborative project we’ve been working on. A few attendees expressed it being the main reason for them joining the webinar, as it is a new challenge for almost every local authority. Previously, self funders didn’t need to come in contact with the council as they usually set up their own care arrangements directly with the care provider.

However the changes that land in October 2023 will change the landscape of who is now coming into contact with the council – as everyone, including self funders will now have a vested interest in seeing their £86k care cap tick down.

We covered the timeline of the project spanning from the kick off workshop in early August, through the development phase in the closing stages of 2022 all the way to its completion in February 2023. 

With the 5 co-funding spots already being secured, we’re inviting local authorities to join the gallery – this will allow councils to have a say in the shaping of the development, by being a “sounding board” for the co-funders. A total of 13 local authorities have put their names forward for the gallery, a fantastic result for the development of this project.

Charging Reform Webinar Recap - animations

Finally we touched on the development of a new series of informative animations regarding the charging reforms. Keeping in line with the style, voice and carefully crafted script and closed captioning that is a staple feature of both BetterCare Finance and BetterCare Support.

We understand the council’s concerns regarding their service users’ ability to fully understand such a complex topic like the upcoming charging reforms. Bridging the gap of understanding is a key issue to many local authorities to ensure their citizens are aware of changes that may affect them. Providing service users with animations designed to make sense of the new reforms in a compact, easy to watch and understandable way is crucial.

We’d like to thank everyone for attending and taking the time to hear about our latest developments, also a big thank you to trailblazer Blackpool Council and Lucia Plant for 

coming onboard as a guest speaker. Looking Local, CC2i and indeed everyone in attendance found your appearance to be incredibly informative and it has in no doubt provided some clarity to  many of our attendees, as their own councils gear up for the upcoming October 2023 adult social care charging reforms.

Please get in touch if you would like to see a recording of the webinar.

And if you’d like to find out more about our products in a 1-1 demo environment, then please request a demonstration using the button below.