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Care Fees and Respite care - Carers UK Forum

Care Fees and Respite care

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I'm just having a nasty experience with my County Council.

Just over a year ago I retired so I could look after my husband who is disabled. A couple of times when I wanted to go away and leave him at home we paid for respite care from a Local Care Agency. One of the workers at the care agency suggested that as his carer I might be able to get some respite care from the Council. After much trouble a complaint and an appeal and with the help of my local carers' centre I got some vouchers and got some more for year 2012/13. The enabled me to go away to study and do other things.

Towards the end of 2012/13 we asked again about the vouchers and were more or less assured we would get them again. Lat week I had a call from a social worker to say she had been asked to do an assessment 'for the care package we had' I said we had no package and I was my husband's carer. She was insistent there was a package in place and that someone came in every day, which they don't. I have however been saying to the agency that I want then in less and use my vouchers for me to have real respite but I can't pin them down to a different arrangement.

The next thing which happened was that there was someone from the County Council finance team who came to do an financial assessment. We asked what it was for and he said the care package we were getting and produced a plan which apparently the CC and the care agency we use have cobbled up together. The plan showed that we had someone coming in every day as the social worker said, which we don't. They wanted us to pay all my husband's care component of his DLA. The assessor said 'they give it you and we take it back' We said we weren't paying and asked about the respite vouchers to which we got an 'I know nothing' sort of response.

I phoned the respite vouchers section and at first was told I had another set of vouchers for the current year approved but the person then changed her mind apologised and said the vouchers weren't approved because of the 'care package'. I couldn't speak to anyone as it was the Friday before Bank Holiday.

We phoned the care agency who on learning we weren't paying for the package and hadn't been granted vouchers cancelled a visit we're due tomorrow. I'm not really bothered as an hour a day contributes nothing to my husband's care and is more a hindrance than a help plus it doesn't contribute anything to my respite. Surely the agency and the Council can't just cobble something up without consulting us and can they just withdraw my respite vouchers leaving me to start all over again?

I asked the person dealing with the vouchers why this wasn't sorted out before the end of the last financial year bearing in mind, which she accepted, that we had asked for a renewal of the vouchers long before the year end.

We just feel sprung upon. Fortunately I haven't any holidays or other events booked at the moment as I would have to cancel them or pay for respite. It seems as though the care agency want all they can get for an inferior service and the Council want us to pay for that service and leave me with the same responsibilities with no respite. The carer who comes can't even put my husband's surgical stocking on and I end up doing them. We did complain about one previous carer who was very pushy and cheeky so we got instead the manager's mother. As we get on with the manager, or did do, how can we complain about her mother and her inability to do simple tasks, like socks?

Stupidly I've kept quiet about things though I have said I want to come to a different arrangement.

Seems also the care agency have been dishonest because they have told the council someone comes every day when they don't.

Am at wit's end. Has anyone come across anything like this before and any advice please?


This is awful. There should be respite for every carer whether the caree agrees or not. There is no sense in killing the carer for the sake of saving a week's care. If the carer gets ill or dies the caree would be the total responsibility of the local authority. However, I have not heard of a council with the intelligence to see that scenario.

I dont know if I have read this right or not but it seems that somewhere care is being paid for with vouchers which is not being received. Therefore I would be asking where those vouchers are going.

Hope you get this sorted out. Must admit that in 18 or 19 years of being a carer i never managed to get respite, even when I was very ill.


Thanks for post.

All is resolved, or pretty much so.
It seems it has been part of a misunderstanding arising out of my husband's condition, or one of the many. He has had several small strokes and his memory is dreadful. It seems he may have had a conversation with the local authority at a time when I had a frozen shoulder and said we could do with more care and on that basis they put a temporary package into place.
We have an assessment next week. I spoke to our social worker's supervisor yesterday and there shouldn't be a problem about my respite though I'm still concerned as to why that wasn't sorted out sooner for the current year.
Husband didn't tell me about the conversation and is in denial of the fact that he clearly did have a conversation with someone as my frozen shoulder is recorded at the CC!

Another joy of being a carer Image

every carer can get respite care it is available but for many at a cost for me to get respite care via the local authority they do a financial check not on me a poor low paid carer but on the person i care for someone who does not have a single penny in savings and does not own a home but has a very good war disabled pension and war widows pension + a reduced state pension they have said ( many times, yes i do try ) that because she is "pension rich" she must pay for her own respite care they remind me every time the respite care is not actually for the carer but for the elderly disabled person my caree, therefore she would have to pay £975 per week for me the carer to have a break ...good news over the last 16 years i have fought the S.P.V.A. M.O.D. for them to pay for my mothers respite care, because she has a certain level of disability she is entitled to 4 weeks respite care every year for free for nowt gratis but in the past she could only access this respite care if her full time 24 / 7 carer was either ill or hospitalised ...but now if i have a letter from my G.P. which confirms that respite care for her will benefit me she will be able to access the respite care ..respite care that i am sure we will need one day ...
No that's wrong, the respite care is for YOU.

What I thought was resolved in relation to my first post is not. We are now dealing with the Financial Department of our County Council. Eventually my respite vouchers arrived. However the Council are still billing for a care package which isn't in place and we don't want and don't need.The chap in the Accounts Dept of the Council and my husband have had a few pleasant conversations but as he is an accounts person he doesn't get it. He told my husband yesterday that we are 'very unique' in having respite vouchers without a care package.
Now I cannot believe that I am the only woman in England who cares for her husband without regular care from outside. The care includes dressing his legs, dressing and washing him, feeding, preparing meals, washing, administering medication..I could go on. He has been assessed as needing care and I have been assessed as his carer. Why would we want someone in from outside every day to disrupt our routine and who does the job less well than I do?

Is there anyone out there who gets respite without a care package please (even though that may make me less unique) Image
I should have said 'disrupts our routine, does the job less well than I do and for which my husband would have to pay'