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Corporate financial appointee consultation


In April and May 2023 we asked about proposals to introduce charges for using our Corporate Financial Appointee services.

What's the latest?

Thank you for taking part. We have reviewed the consultation feedback and will introduce a weekly charge for the financial appointee service from the 1 October 2023. This will be £5 per week for people in residential care homes and £7.50 per week for people living in their own homes. 

Charges will not apply to residents who have savings of less than £1,000 and we will monitor this. We will let all service users, and the people who support them know this decision and its impact before October.

The implementation of the charges will allow us to continue to provide a service to some of the most vulnerable members of the community, protect them from financial exploitation and abuse, and enable our clients to live independently in the community. To find out more about the consultation outcomes, please go to the bottom of this page.

Background

As a local council, we manage the financial affairs of some residents who, following a mental capacity assessment, have been found to be unable to manage their own finances and have no suitable family or friends to act on their behalf. We therefore act as their financial appointee. While we are only legally required to look after social security benefits, we often have a far wider role in dealing with their finances.

Unlike many other councils, we currently do not charge for this service. However, we are considering introducing a charge from October 2023.

What we proposed

The proposed fees are:

  • people who live in a care home: £5 per week
  • people who live in their own home: £7.50 per week

The difference in cost represents the additional financial management support needed for people living in their own homes eg payment of utility bills or other daily living expenses.

Comparison of proposed fees to others who provide the service

Private organisations can provide financial appointee services. Their costs range from £7.70 to £11.25 per week, for those who live in a residential setting, and from £13.46 to £25 per week for those who live in a community setting, depending on the level of service required.

Nationally, other councils (who may have differing rules on who they will accept), charge up to £19.50 per week. Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle, Redcar and Cleveland and North Tyneside charge between £5 and £19.50 per week.

Who will be affected

We do not propose to charge people who have less than £1,000 in their accounts. We will work with people to agree a weekly budget. If these charges go ahead, we will factor these into their budgeting.

Anyone who pays towards their care costs may be able to off-set this new charge as a Disability Related Expenditure (DRE). For example, the cost of the support to manage their finances.

Have your say

The consultation closed at 5.00pm on Friday 19 May 2023. 

Easy read version

Consultation outcomes

65 responses were received from people directly affected by this proposed change, their support workers and relevant charities. This helped our understanding of how the change would affect them and how best to support and reduce any impacts.

The feedback did not highlight any viable areas of concern, or alternative options requiring consideration. Although as expected, respondents noted they would rather not pay, they recognised the vital nature the service plays in providing financial security and removing a larger worry and area of vulnerability for them.

Concerns raised around the cost of the service can be lessened by the continued delivery of a range of activities to support service users with their budget planning. Advice and support are always given to help service users to maximise their income and benefit entitlement wherever possible during the financial assessment which is positive for all clients. This will continue to be delivered and where the service users have no capital savings, they would not be subject to this charge.

Contact us
Contact Consultation - financial appointees