News Article

Consulting Views of Providers in Essex on Top Ups & Deferred payments

Top ups are one way of injecting money in an under funded industry,  I agree that the Resident/Family must be made aware that there is the option of going to another home which would accept IRN.


Under IRN contracts, if a private resident runs out of funds:

·         The Home are not allowed to talk to Family/Residents about Top Ups & must go through the social worker even if approached by family about options ;

·         The Home has to justify what extra service a  room with a Top Up is providing;

·         The Family have to fill out a questionnaire for their ability to pay a top up, which  is intrusive as includes questions about all their expenses- annual expenses on food, council tax, credit card, loans etc, questions all their income- pension, income & bank balances/debt to be evaluated by ECC.

(There could be a simple solution that the top up payment is at the risk of the provider to collect which takes away any risk for ECC?)

Deferred Payments

The amount paid in a deferred contract is under the discretion of ECC. The council can say they will not pay more than IRN rate, even if the resident is currently on a private rate in the home.

This could be at the expense of consumer choice as they may have to move & further shrinks the income stream in residential market for money which will eventually be retrieved by ECC in any case.

Is this an approach which is fair? Is this a matter that needs to be raised to ECC?

Please email any thoughts or views on this subject into the ECA office.