October 2023 Reform: Prepare with digital financial assessment platform

As you will no doubt be aware, the Adult Social Care sector is due to undergo considerable changes beginning October 2023 sparking the need for Local Authorities across the UK to have the capability to process high volumes of new financial assessments quickly.

The new benefit cap will ensure that no single care receiver will pay more than £86,000 toward their care during their lifetime. Alongside this, the asset cap will be lowered from £23,250 to £20,000 and claimants with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 may also be eligible for care cost contributions from their Local Authority.

In short, those already receiving care and those newly eligible for care contributions will need to understand what their contributions will be and then apply or reapply.

Working in partnership with Kirklees Council we have developed BetterCare Finance, a digital self-service tool whereby the end user has the ability to quickly and accurately calculate the cost of their care in pounds and pence, then apply directly using the same form. This technology has already been adopted by many Local Authorities across the country with measurable success.

Since implementing BetterCare Finance, Kirklees have had:

  • Measurable self service adoption rate of 80% (from 100% home/telephone)
  • Staff focus on complex and vulnerable cases and increased debt recovery

In the past our analysis has shown that up to 25% of all care packages fail once the care receiver is retroactively invoiced and discovers the actual cost of their contribution. This can be up to several months after their care plan is in place and as such is costing some councils millions in misspent care.

By using BetterCare Finance, the user can plainly see exactly what they will be contributing thus making it far less likely they will be discouraged from their plan by a contribution figure they cannot or will not pay, drastically reducing the likelihood of failed care packages.

As the Adult Social Care landscape is ever-evolving, we work with relevant decision makers, policy experts and financial assessment officers to capture the new requirements in detail to ensure BetterCare Finance remains up-to-date with each Local Authority’s current policies.

Midway through the development of the non-residential calculations, one of our customers had a policy review and resultant change of their Adult Care Charging Policy. Looking Local worked with the relevant team to ensure that the new requirements were captured in detail while explaining the impact on the existing BetterCare Finance form. A new specification was created and then development on the necessary calculation rulebase changes were completed in line with the soft launch.

For another customer, as Visiting Officers started to use the product during the pilot phase, further tweaks were made to the form as challenges were identified. For example, a new page to capture additional information that the Visiting Officer felt might be useful in future, that was previously being written down on paper. Another example being tweaks to the itemised DRE fields post-launch, as the Local Authority had specific limits on how much can be claimed against each DRE line item – Looking Local worked with them to identify areas that needed to be changed and assess how they would impact the contribution calculations.

If you’d like to find out more about BetterCare Finance and how using this platform can prepare you for the October 2023 reform, please contact us or fill out a demonstration request form below.

Request a demo for BetterCare Finance