Discretionary charge

I WISH to add to Ronnie O Connell s letter in last week s Mercury (page 8) regarding charges for day care.

I WISH to add to Ronnie O'Connell's letter in last week's Mercury (page 8) regarding charges for day care. This is a discretionary charge which councils have. Should they choose to charge for this service the Fairer Charging Policy Guidelines should be followed, which are set out by the Department of Health. This is a 35 page document where it states that there should be consultation with users and carers, and this charge should not be budget based, and income raised should be used to develop services. There has been no consultation with users and carers, or information on how monies would be used to improve services.

It also states: 'The design of charging policies needs to be sensitive to the variety of users' circumstances and needs. The ways in which charging policies are developed also need to be sensitive and to involve users and carers'. Yet again this has not happened, and instead has caused a lot of stress and worry.


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