January 16, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.407

Care News

Social Care in Rural Areas - Supported buses are services that are subsidised by local authorities because they are not provided by commercial bus companies.

They serve communities where no alternative route exists, meaning that any cut or alteration can often have a huge impact on residents and local economies.

They also provide services in evenings and at weekends when otherwise services would cease. These subsidised or supported services represent 22 per cent of bus provision in England. This percentage varies considerably across the country, ranging from just 5 per cent in some urban areas to almost 100 per cent in some rural areas.

The total spend by local authorities on supported bus services for 2013-14 was £260 million, down from £270 million in 2012-13 and down from £279 million in 2011-12, meaning that in just three years £19 million has been cut overall from supported bus budgets across England.

As a result of these reductions, 147 services have been cut or withdrawn completely across the country.’

(Source: Community Transport Association at www.ctauk.org where you can read the full report)

The Care Bill – Updated Factsheets were published by the Government on 10th January. There are 19 Factsheets and these can be read at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-care-bill-factsheets

Bedroom Tax Loophole – Law to Change

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued guidance which confirms that tenants who have been continuously entitled to Housing Benefit (HB) since at least 1 January 1996 and who have occupied the same dwelling since that date are exempt from the bedroom tax.

Once a local authority is satisfied that a claimant is exempt from the bedroom tax under these rules it should remove the reduction in the claimants HB from 1 April 2013 and pay any arrears due.

However the guidance also states that this exemption will only apply until the law is changed. Once the law is changed those continuously entitled to HB since at least 1 January 1996 will once more have the tax applied.

(Source: Disability Rights UK)

Question of the Week

"In my local area I notice when I walk my dog, that there are used syringes around on the ground. How can I get them removed, who do I tell?"

Answer : Discarded syringes will be removed by your local council. So make contact and report your findings and they should be removed quickly.

Winter Tip

Just 58,000 people currently receive NHS Continuing Care funding but it is believed this is just the tip of the iceberg and more than 150,000 are actually entitled to it.

As a result people who could fulfil the eligibility criteria may not be aware that they could apply.

For further information visit the NHS Continuing Care website at: www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/guide/practicalsupport/Pages/NHSContinuingCare.aspx

In-House News

Potential clients have been visited in Hampshire, the Channel Islands and in Essex.

Two Norfolk monitoring visits have taken place.

Interesting Information

In June 2013 there were 3,741 prisoners aged 60 or over in prison establishments, a record high level for this age group.

Client Profile

Shaun is in his 40’s and has Cerebral Palsy. In 2009 he came to Able Community Care for a live-in care package.

Shaun attends a day centre, has hobbies and enjoys social activities all of which are supported by his live-in care workers in addition to the provision of personal and domestic care.

Shaun has two live in carers who rotate, one of whom was introduced to Shaun in 2009 and his second one in 2010.

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Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.
Telephone 01603 764567