Adult Social Services Department Transport Policy – effective from 6 March 2017
1.1 There is an expectation that service users will meet their own needs for transport to access and take advantage of services, or support to facilitate them.
1.2 Transport is a means of accessing other services or support. The overriding principle is that the decision to provide transport is based on a person’s individual circumstances including: needs, risks, outcomes and on promoting independence. There is no statutory duty for Councils to provide transport nor funding for it.
1.3 As part of the Assessment and Care Planning process, the need to attend a community service and/or to pursue other activities away from the service user’s home may be identified. The need for transport to any community service or activity service must be part of the assessment of a persons’ needs and any subsequent review(s) and can only be provided where the person is eligible for a service in accordance with the national eligibility criteria set out in the Care Act 2014.
1.4 Although a person may attend a specific community service or activity to meet their assessed needs, they will not be eligible automatically for transport to and from the service/activity.
1.5 The transport provided will be appropriate for that need, will provide value for money and be cost effective.
1.6 Transport may be provided on a temporary basis and reviewed when the person is able to use an alternative method of transport, for example, public transport.
1.7 The assumption is that service users will travel independently except where assessment shows that this is not possible. The test used in the assessment should be: “If Adult Social Services does not provide transport, would this result in an eligible need for services going unmet?” i.e. are there other ways in which the service user can reasonably be expected to attend services and/or support making his/her own arrangements to get there?
1.8 Where an individual is provided with a Personal Budget or requests a Direct Payment to meet their assessed needs for care, the same principles will apply as to those people opting to receive support directly from Adult Social Services.
1.9 If a person has been assessed as able to make their own transport arrangements but declines to do so and as a result is unable to attend the service for which they have an assessed eligible need this will be viewed as the person declining services. Where a person has declined a service which they are eligible for, the assessor will evaluate whether the person has the capacity to make this decision.
1.10 For those existing individuals who could lose their eligibility for transport under this policy, their situation will be considered sympathetically and personal circumstances will be taken into account to ensure there is not a detrimental effect on the person’s access to eligible services. Transitional arrangements can be put in place for a limited period of time to make alternative arrangements, if deemed necessary.
1.11 We will link with the Children Service and work closely to ensure the transport needs of children and young people are assessed whilst at school, so that options to promote independence and use mainstream transport have been explored before they go to college or an adult community activity. This will assist to overcome the expectation from their families that the Adult Social Services will provide transport in all circumstances. All young people requiring adult social services will require an assessment of their needs.
1.12 Adult Social Services would not normally provide Council funded transport for a person:
- Who is able to access services using their own, public or community transport.
- Who is able to arrange their transport themselves. For example, if the person uses public or community transport independently at any other time, it should be assumed that they will use public or community transport to access services where this is available.
- Who chooses to attend a service which is not their nearest appropriate service.
- Who has Concessionary Travel Passes - People who qualify for concessionary travel will be expected to apply and use this as and when appropriate according to assessed needs.
- Who is in receipt of a Motability vehicle or mobility payment.
- Who has a Mobility Scooter and their day services is only a short distance from their home and can be safely accessed by them using their mobility scooter.
- Who lives in a setting funded by the Adult Social Services, eg Residential Care, supported living schemes - The cost of the placement will meet the full range of support needs, including transport.
- Where a person contributes towards a Shared Community Vehicle.
- Who funds their own social care - Where a self-funder is unable to arrange their own transport and there is no-one who can help them, then we can support them to access appropriate transport to their day services but the person will have to pay the transport provider direct.
- Who is on a short stay break to return to their day service provision in their local area (unless the cost of their day service provision together with the cost of transport to and from that provision is less than would be charged for them remaining in respite for the day).
- To attend health service appointments, including GPs, chiropodists, dentists, hospitals.
- To attend social clubs and other activities that are not part of their Support Plan.