13 November 2023
The Minister for Social Security and the Minister for Health and Social Services have agreed a 7.7% increase to the weekly benefit rates payable under the Long-Term Care Scheme from 1 January 2024.
This increase recognises the rise in average earnings across the Island in the past year.
Combined with the 2023 uprate of 12%, this represents an increase in Long Term Care benefit funding of just over 20% since December 2022, and recognises the Government's commitment to supporting the sector and Islanders using the scheme.
The Long-Term Care Scheme is designed to meet the cost of care up to a maximum level, which varies with an individual's care needs, and is funded by contributions from all income taxpayers.
As part of last year's unprecedented 12% increase, Ministers also committed to undertake a review of the Island's homecare market. The Government set out the basis for the review at an event held in August this year. All homecare providers were invited to the event and continued to engage with the Government throughout the Autumn, as the review progressed.
The independent review was carried out by LaingBuisson, a leading expert in the care field. It gave all providers in the homecare sector an opportunity to discuss and explain their costs, charges and business models, with all data being reported anonymously.
The Government expects to receive the independently produced report in the next few weeks. This will form the basis of a restructure of the calculation of homecare package costs and how they are paid from the Long-Term Care Fund, as we look to move towards a more sustainable and equitable domiciliary care market. This work will be completed in the first half of 2024, and we will continue to work closely with the care sector in implementing these changes.
The Minister for Social Security, Deputy Elaine Millar said: "Jersey's Long-Term Care Scheme is one of which I believe the Island can be proud. This latest uprate to benefit values that the scheme can pay will have increased support by over 20% since 2022, recognising the Government's continuing commitment to a vitally important sector. I am also very pleased that this year we have completed the work in revising and enhancing the communications we publish about the scheme. This included new literature as well as a new website.
"This work was one of my key objectives for this year. The market review of the homecare sector will also shortly be completed. I will be looking to bring forward further changes to the scheme in the new year that will restructure how the scheme pays benefit for domiciliary (home) care. This is an important step in ensuring the scheme remains both sustainable and equitable."
Deputy Karen Wilson, Minister for Health and Social Services said: "The uprate for 2024 demonstrates that this Government continues to support the vital services the sector provides to Islanders and also supports wider pieces of work being undertaken by the Government to support the needs of the sector and Islanders for years to come. I look forward to the findings of the market review."