Views sought on proposal to increase threshold for care charges

Changes to the £16,000 threshold, at which people start to pay full cost of care in Aberdeenshire is being proposed, following feedback from families and service users that this is too low.

Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership are now seeking views from service users and their families on a proposal to raise the threshold from £16,000 to £26,250.

Officers visited very sheltered housing schemes and day centres to advise service users how recent changes to care charges will affect them. Feedback about the threshold came from these discussions.

Previously there was a cap of 35% on the maximum contribution that people were expected to pay towards non-residential care regardless of financial circumstances, leaving Aberdeenshire Council to cover the remaining 65% of costs from within its budget. 

Following approval from Aberdeenshire Council's Social Work and Housing Committee last December this cap was removed, meaning people who can afford to pay more will be expected to make a more significant contribution.

Although there was no change in care costs for the majority of people, some people who live in very sheltered housing, receive care at home services or attend day services have had an increase in their costs.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Aberdeenshire Integrated Joint Board for Health and Social Care, Cllr Anne Allan, said:

“Many people understood and agreed with the principle that those who could afford to contribute more towards the cost of their care should do so. However, there was a consensus that the £16,000 threshold at which people start to pay full cost, does not leave an individual with a reasonable sized reserve.

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Richard Thomson said:

“Having listened to these concerns, the Social Work & Housing committee will be asked to consider a number of proposals, one of which will be to lift the threshold from £16,000 to £26,250 to bring it in line with residential charging policy. As well as considering changes to the threshold, officers are continuing to have discussions with families and service users about the charges. No-one will be asked to pay more than they can afford.

“Where individuals have been struggling to make their reserves available in the short time period of the change, officers have worked with them to introduce a personalised payment plan. We continue to offer support to people and urge people to take a financial assessment so we can make sure they are claiming everything they are entitled to.”


The Social work and Housing Committee will consider this at their September meeting (1/9/16); the paper will include the views of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Integrated Joint Board (IJB).

The Social Work and Housing committee has to make the formal decision as charging policy remained was not devolved to IJBs in the legislation.

People can let us know their views by completing a short survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/carethreshold

Emailing:  integration@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or

writing to Adam Coldwells, Chief Officer of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Gordon House, Inverurie, AB51 3WA by Monday 1st August 2016.

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes said:

“Before the proposal is discussed by councillors we want to hear the views of service users, especially those who have been most affected by the recent changes. Officers will be visiting very sheltered housing complexes and a number of day services during July to hear directly from service users and their families.”