Contribution to s117 aftercare

Loved one was sectioned in Dec 23, discharge planning meeting said we would be given two choices of OPMH. No OPMH feel they can cope with loved one. OPMH plus setting recommended, they also felt they could not meet his needs and support due to clashes with other patients in the 6 bed unit.

Where do we go from here? SW asking for a commitment to help fund £750 a week towards care as LA only pay £1000 per week max for a setting? Reading 117 aftercare it should not be means tested and due to loved one being 65 we don’t know how long monies would need to last. Any help would be amazing?

The LA cannot demand a contribution.

If your relative has been assessed as needing s117 aftercare in a residential placement, then the LA and NHS between then must find, and fund, a suitable placement that meets their needs.

If they offered you a suitable placement, but you preferred a more expensive one, then you could voluntarily agree to fund the difference (normally called a “top up”).

But they cannot make you, and the social worker should not have asked.

The LA and NHS may not want to spend more than £1000 a week, but if they can’t identify a suitable placement for that price, then it is their responsibility to pay the extra, not yours or your relative’s.

The Ombudsman issued a report about this as long ago as 2015 (see page 5 in particular). It’s in the context of the Care Act, rather than s117, but the principle is the same.