16 THE COSTS AND BENEFITS ARISING FROM THIS GUIDANCE
16.1 Respondents were asked for any comment in relation to costs and benefits related to the requirements set out in the guidance. Specifically, respondents were asked whether they could identify any financial costs or benefits to individuals, local authorities, health boards, providers or any other person or organisation affected by the guidance.
Question 14: Do you have any comments on the financial costs or benefits of the requirements set out in the guidance?
16.2 Fifty-two respondents, across all respondent groups, commented and a key theme from a significant minority of respondents was concern over additional costs for local authorities. Examples included costs such as upgraded financial recording systems, the potential for bad debt, overall management of the new scheme or the need for more training and support for staff. There were also concerns from a few respondents that the waiving of charges for short breaks would have significant implications for local authorities as this effectively translates to a budget cut. There were also a small number of comments that changes from block to individualised invoicing would be costly.
16.3 Allied to concerns over additional costs to local authorities, there were also some concerns of additional costs to service providers and service users. For example, there will be additional administrative costs for service providers and increased developmental costs as they would have to remodel services under self-directed support. Some commented that some service providers could have their businesses destabilised or that there would be pressures on them from local authorities to maintain previous levels of support on lower budgets.
16.4 A number of respondents made some form of reference to resources under self-directed support. Again, concerns took a number of different forms, with some references to the need for training staff or other workforce development costs, changes to infrastructure costs, an increased need for assessment, care and support planning and review. A small number of respondents had concerns over a lack of resource allocation to local authorities and / or health boards at a time of declining budgets. Allied to this, there were some suggestions that transitional funding should be extended from 2015 when it is currently due to end or that bridging funds should be available to support transition.
16.5 A small number of respondents also pointed to a need for information or guidance for all audiences affected by the implementation of self-directed support (service users, service providers and local authorities).
16.6 While there were some comments in support of the introduction of self-directed support in terms of its aims and underlying principles, there were concerns about its implementation, with a number of organisations commenting that it is difficult to estimate the longer term financial implications or that the real costs of implementing SDS are still too uncertain.
Email: Aileen McIntosh
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