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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 4 October 2013
Date of Publication: 30 October 2013
Inspection Report published 30 October 2013 PDF | 79.62 KB

People who pay for a service should know how much they have to pay, when and how to pay it, and what they will get for the amount paid (outcome 3)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Know how much they are expected to pay, when and how.
  • Know what the service will provide for the fee paid.
  • Understand their obligations and responsibilities.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 4 October 2013, observed how people were being cared for and talked with people who use the service. We talked with staff, reviewed information given to us by the provider and talked with commissioners of services.

Our judgement

People who used the service, or others acting on their behalf, who paid the provider for services they received, knew how much they were expected to pay, when and how. People who paid for the service understood their obligations and knew what service they would receive for the fee paid.

Reasons for our judgement

We asked the regional manager about the procedures in place to make sure that people who paid for services knew how much they were expected to pay and how and when payments should be made. We saw evidence that the company had taken into account legislation which supported individuals in their financial affairs. For example we saw documentation around data protection, human rights, care standards and mental capacity.

We reviewed five care records. In each record there was a section about financial planning and this contained a service user agreement and a contract. The information contained in these documents explained the service to be provided and the expectations for payment in respect of that service. The documents were signed by the local authority, the person who used the service or their representative.

We saw that statements were provided to the person responsible for payment. Each statement contained clear details of the date, time, quantity, charge rate and service and whether the service was being paid for by the local authority and/or the clients themselves. This meant that people were able to see clearly how much they were expected to pay and when.

We spoke to the relatives of two people who used the service. One person told us that fees had been discussed with them when they made a decision to start using the service. They said they understood they service they received, how much it cost and who was paying for it. The provider may find it useful to note that one person we spoke with said they had not felt supported regarding fees but that this was currently being addressed.

There was a clear process in place for invoicing service delivery and we saw that people were supported so that they received the best possible service for the cost available to them. For example people were referred to Benefits Maximisation Teams at the local authority to ensure they were in receipt of the correct benefits.

We saw documentation to support the protection of vulnerable adults, codes of practice for powers of attorney and information about financial decision making. Capacity assessments were undertaken and where people were found incapable of managing their own finances they were allocated appointees either through social services or with the Court of Protection. This meant that the provider made sure that people who used the service were supported by social services and GPs to manage finances and fees if they did not have capacity to do so themselves.