Select Committee on Health Memoranda

Memorandum by the Department of Health

Table 5.12.2


  Source:   RO3 return.

Table 5.12.3


  Source:   RO3 return.

5.13  Volume, Purpose and Monitoring of Grants

  Could the Department provide details of the volume of specific or special grants made available, by the Department, to social services departments for the years 1997-98 to 2001-02? Could the Department provide a full explanation of any changes, introduced this year, to the volume, the purpose or the monitoring arrangements for any of the grants?

  1.  Table 5.13.1 shows the volume of local authority PSS grants for the years requested.

Table 5.13.1


  Note—figures may not sum due to rounding.


  2.   Volume: The only change in 2001-02 is that £16.5 million is being made available to councils, a 3 per cent increase on the 2000-01 amount of £16 million.


  3.   Volume: The only change in 2001-02 is that the grant increased by £2.1 million to £8.9 million, an increase of 31 per cent.


  4.   Volume: A total of £149.4m is available in 2001-02 for social care services for people with mental illness, including dementia, an increase of £20 million over the 2000-01 grant level. Of this, £1 million is being provided to support two telephone helplines and £1 million is being transferred to DTLR for the Rough Sleepers Unit to allocate for mental health social care services for homeless people in central London. Therefore, the mental health grant available to local councils is £147.4 million. The Mental Health Social Care Partnership and Target Funds ceased on 31 March 2001 and the funds have been put back into the core grant of £130.9 million. The grant for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services has been increased in 2001-02 by £5 million, an extra 50 per cent, to £15 million.

  5.   Purpose: This is broadly the same, to support implementation of the Mental Health National Service Framework standards in line with local milestones set out in local implementation plans but in addition, to deliver the Department's NHS Plan commitments. Councils have been asked to give emphasis to services for looked after children in using the additional £5 million funding for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

  6.  There are no changes to monitoring arrangements.


  7.   Volume: The grant for 2001-02 was increased from £42.5 million to £47.5 million, an increase of 12 per cent.

  8.   Purpose: This remains the same but with some additions. £2 million of the extra funding is being used to increase the numbers of staff being trained in the new Post Qualifying Child Care Award. The remainder of the increase, £3 million, has been ring-fenced for supporting those social care workers who undertake study for the Diploma in Social Work.

  9.   Effectiveness: The number of ring-fenced amounts within the grant have been reduced for 2001-02. Funds previously set aside in sub-programmes for training domiciliary care workers, registered managers of adults' homes and for safety of social care workers training have been returned to the Main Programme.

  10.  There are no changes to monitoring arrangements.


  11.  Responsibility for the Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children's grant was transferred to the Home Office from 1 April 2000.


  12.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000.

  13.   Volume: From 2001-02, the Promoting Independence grant replaced the previous Partnership and Prevention grants. It also incorporates an additional £100 million for social services announced on 27 November 2000, to help councils respond to last year's winter pressures. The total Grant in 2001-02 is £296 million.

  14.   Purpose: The purpose of the grant is to foster partnership between health and social services in promoting independence. The grant should be used to promote new patterns of service providing care closer to home, in particular through the prevention of unnecessary hospital admission and improved discharge arrangements. The grant should also be used to develop services that enable people to live independently, promoting social inclusion and enabling people to enter or re-enter employment. A condition of the grant is that it should be spent on "additional", new or improved services; these may be continuing services funded in previous years through the Partnership or Prevention Grants. The condition excludes 1.5 per cent of the Grant (£4.4m) and the additional £100m announced in November 2000.

  15.   Monitoring: By 30 June 2001 each council will provide a written plan setting out how they will use grant monies. This plan should be submitted to Social Care Regions, to NHS Regional Offices and to Social Care Branch 5. The plan must be agreed with the NHS in the council's area. By 31 May 2002 councils must provide a report that sets out what actions they have taken to implement their plan including details of progress using the indicators set out in the plan.

  16.   Effectiveness: The plan must state expected performance against a number of Personal Social Services Performance Assessment Framework Indicators for 2001-02.


  17.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000.

  18.   Volume: The grant has been increased in 2001-02 by £20 million to £70 million, an increase of 40 per cent.

  19.   Purpose: This remains largely the same but in addition, councils may spend up to 7.5 per cent of their allocation on services under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 for carers who cannot take advantage of any type of breaks services. This is generally because the cared for person is not willing to receive services which would enable the carer to have a break.

  20.   Effectiveness: These remain as before but in addition, outputs will be assessed against Personal Social Services Performance Assessment Framework Indicators for 2001-02.

  21.  There are no changes to monitoring arrangements.


  22.   Legislation: A Special Grant Report will be laid under the powers contained in Section 88B(5) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, as substituted by paragraph 18 of Schedule 10 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000 is also used.

  23.   Volume: In 2001-02 the grant is being increased to £291.8 million.

  24.   Purpose: In addition to existing priority areas, £15 million has been ring-fenced within the total grant for improving services to disabled children and their families. Funding of £128 million has also been ring-fenced for the implementation of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 from October 2001 (young people aged 16 or over in and leaving care was already a priority area for the grant.)

  25.  There are no changes to monitoring arrangements and the measures of effectiveness.


  26.   Volume: The only change is that funding of £1.3 million is being made available to seven councils in 2001-02. Of this £0.095 million is for capital and £1.2 million is for revenue expenditure.


  27.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000

  28.   Volume: In 2000-01 a grant of £72,500 was paid to each of six local councils (total £435,000) to meet the costs of setting up the Care Direct service. Further grants amounting to £0.9 million will be made available to the same councils in 2001-02 to meet the residual set up costs and the revenue costs of the service during 2001/02. The remainder of the 2001-02 grant (£1.1m) will be used to fund the IT equipment required to run the pilots.

  29.   Purpose: Care Direct will be a single gateway for older people to get information about social care, health, housing and social security benefits. Its purpose is to help older people stay independent and to help them make informed decisions about their own care and support needs. Care Direct will help users and carers know where to go for information and advice, get the information and advice they need when they need it, get the support they need when they need it—delivered in an integrated way, and to consistent standards.

  30.  The key elements of Care Direct are:

    —  one telephone number which will route callers to local helpdesks, based in LAs, that provide face to face access for people who do not wish to, or cannot, use the telephone;

    —  the Care Direct service will be accessible out of hours; and

    —  the local helpdesks will all provide the same level of service and core information about health, social care, housing and social security benefits. They will also provide practical assistance to help people access services and social security benefits.

  31.   Monitoring: The Department has drawn up a specification for the Care Direct service that will be delivered by each of the pilot councils. This specification forms the basis of the service agreement between the Department and each council. Service activity will be monitored by the Department and the pilot councils with outputs and outcomes being evaluated by an independent body during the first six months of live running (from October 2001).

  32.   Effectiveness: This will be measured by an independent body in terms of improved outcomes for older people. The expected outcomes and benefits of Care Direct are:

    —  a "one-stop shop" facility, open out of hours, for the provision of consistent, comprehensive information about health, housing, social care and social security;

    —  the provision of a means of self-care and prevention that is easy to access;

    —  the availability of information and advice close to home (through locally based help-desks and out-reach facilities); and

    —  the facilitating and promotion of sharing of information between agencies.


  33.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000.

  34.   Volume: In 2001-02 the grant is £15 million and will be available to councils from 1 October. This is the first year of the grant.

  35.   Purpose: The NHS Plan announced three changes to the system for residential care charges to make it fairer and less stressful for residents who own a home. Two changes were implemented in April 2001, the 12 weeks property disregard and an increase in the capital limits. These changes will allow people to keep more of their savings if they enter permanent residential care. The 12-weeks property disregard gives residents breathing space between entering a care home and deciding how best to meet fees. The third change, deferred payments, will be implemented from October 2001. This scheme will enable councils to place a charge on someone's home on admission to permanent residential care. While the resident will contribute assessed income to meet care costs, the council will make up the difference between this and the actual fees. The resident or their estate repays the council when the home is eventually sold. Deferred payments will enable people who cannot sell their home, or do not wish to do so, to enter residential care without worry or pressure to sell. It will give residents a valuable option in deciding how best to meet care home fees.

  36.  Deferred payments are a power not a duty. The grant is time limited and will help councils get deferred payments off the ground. Eventually, repayments from former residents will offset the money that councils pay out by making deferred payments for current residents.

  37.   Monitoring: Proposals for monitoring the grant and the scheme are being finalised. The routine audit of expenditure will give the principal piece of monitoring data, namely, the take-up of the grant. It is expected that routine monitoring will be carried out by Social Care Regional Offices.

  38.   Effectiveness: The principal measure of effectiveness will be the take-up of the grant, and the number of residents for whom councils agree to defer payments.


  39.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000.

  40.   Volume: The grant available to councils in 2001-02 is £3 million. This is the first year of the grant.

  41.   Purpose: The grant is available for the development, improvement or acquisition of systems for improving information management as part of the effective implementation of the "Information for Social Care" initiative and improving the quality of welfare services. The 2001-02 grant has two component parts. £2.5 million has been divided equally between councils to help them produce a Local Information Plan setting out their information strategy for the next two or three years and the capital investment plan to support their strategy. The balance of £0.5 million will be paid to six councils that have been selected to run demonstrator projects which address issues relating to the improvement of the quality of social services through better use of information and information technology.

  42.   Monitoring: Councils are required to send their Local Information Plans to the Department by 1 October 2001 and each will be evaluated. The capital investment plans will be used to inform the allocation of further grant proposed for the next two years. The demonstrator projects are each contracted to produce outputs at key dates and a Project Board monitors their performance.

  43.   Effectiveness: Compliance with the requirements set out in paragraph 41 above are the measure of grant effectiveness.


  44.   Legislation: Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2000.

  45.   Volume: The grant available to councils in 2001-02 is £4.5 million. This is the first year of the grant.

  46.   Purpose: to support the implementation of an integrated local plan for young people's substance misuse services. The funding must be spent in support of the Young People's Substance Misuse Plan, and in particular the objectives outlined at paragraph 1.6 of the Drug Action Team guidance issued on 23 February 2001. Specifically it should be used to support:

    —  the development of protocols for referrals between different tiers of service and between different providers in order to support the delivery of an integrated package of care;

    —  the development of screening and assessment protocols for young people. (This work should take into account the Department's "Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families");

    —  staff training to support the implementation of new protocols;

    —  costs associated with the completion of local assessments of young people's drug-related needs and current service provision;

    —  costs associated with the production of drug-related service development plans; and

    —  additionally to meet any staffing costs incurred in overseeing the use of this grant.

  47.   Monitoring: Councils are required to report on how the money has been used as part of their contribution to the Drug Action Team Annual Report covering the period 2001-02. A copy of this report should be sent to the Department by 30 June 2002.

  48.   Effectiveness: The Young People's Substance Misuse Plans are performance-managed at Regional level by the Department's Social Care Regions together with the Home Office.

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