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Changes to Careline

From 5 April 2021 we’ll be making changes to the Careline model of service and the associated charges.

These changes are necessary to ensure that we can continue to provide an affordable service that meets customers’ needs whilst providing greater choice and remaining competitive with other service providers.

You will receive letters from us about this. 

The questions and answers below address general queries you might have.

What is changing and why?

The service we currently provide to you doesn’t offer any choice and the charges don’t cover the costs associated with providing the service, so it has been necessary to review these at this time.

The only way we can continue delivering the service whilst remaining competitive with other providers is to introduce a new service model and charging structure.

For Careline customers like yourself who don’t live in our supported housing or independent living schemes, this means you’ll be able to choose the level of support you receive from Careline. It will depend on specific criteria and the charge we make to you will reflect this. These charges will be introduced on 5 April 2021.

The cost of the weekly charges will be:

Level 1 option:

• Call handling only (mandatory) - £3.50

Level 2 option:

• Call handling plus mobile response - £5.70

Additional services:

• Telecare provision - £7.70

• Intensive high needs charge - £ will vary dependant on exceptional circumstances and will be discussed with you before being applied.

How does this affect you?

The table below shows the service levels that will be available to you along with the service criteria and associated weekly charge.

For customers like yourself, depending on the level of service you choose, there could be a reduction or an increase in the charge. If you currently receive a VAT exemption you’ll continue to be exempt for VAT on your service charge.

Careline Charges Table

Why can’t Bolton at Home continue funding these services?

Up to 2015, we received Supporting People grant funding from central government, which enabled us to reduce the charges we made to you. However, this grant subsidy was withdrawn in 2015 and it has left us with a significant shortfall in our funding.

Since 2015, this short fall has been met by us and unfortunately we’re no longer able to do this. We’ve avoided increasing the charges for as long as possible and we’re confident you’ll get value for money compared to other providers.

Is this being done to make a profit?

No. Service charges are regulated by law and housing organisations can’t charge more for a service than the service costs. We’re careful and take the necessary legal steps to ensure we’re correct in our approach. We want to minimise any financial impact on you.

I’m worried about my finances, what can I do?

These charges will not take effect until 5 April 2021. If you have any concerns about paying these charges then please contact Careline on 01204 329779. Our office is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

You may also seek assistance from other agencies such as Age UK and the Citizens Advice Bureau. In addition, you may also wish to explore any entitlement to additional benefits such as Attendance Allowance. This is an allowance to help with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. Attendance Allowance is a non means tested benefit, which can be paid regardless of income or savings.

We hope that you will continue to remain with the service, however you may choose to cancel your contract with Careline. You can do this by providing four weeks’ notice in line with your contractual agreement.

In any event, we recommend that you to talk to family and friends beforehand so they’re aware of your decision.

What do I need to do if I wish to keep my current level of service?

If you wish to continue receiving your current level of service and have a Direct Debit you don’t need to do anything. You’ll be invoiced beforehand for the new amount.

If you wish to continue to receive your current level of service and have a Standing Order then you need to notify your bank to make the necessary changes to your payments.

What do I need to do if I want to change the level of service I receive from Careline?

If you wish to change the level of service you receive from Careline, please contact our Admin Team on 01204 329779. We’ll discuss these changes with you to ensure we can continue to meet your needs.

What do I need to do if I want to cancel the Careline service?

If you wish to cancel your service, please contact us on 01204 329779.

We hope that you will continue to receive this service to enable you to live independently and safely in your home and provide reassurance to your family and friends.