Powys County Council is a Welsh Unitary Authority with an 8,000 strong workforce that serves one of the most sparsely populated areas of the UK. Its adult social services department delivers support to 100 vulnerable adults with dementia who are at risk of financial abuse. Where necessary it applies for court orders so it can receive their pensions, allocate cash for them to spend, and pay bills such as care fees.
Cashfac has been instrumental in automating the administration of all Powys County Council service user accounts to reduce the complexity and cost of manually managing multiple spreadsheets, bank statements and bank accounts.
With an aging population, local authorities are under pressure to provide good quality, cost-effective care to the growing number of people who have complex needs. Once a decision on the status of the vulnerable citizen is made the council notifies the courts and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Council can then receive payments owed to the citizen by the DWP, private pensions and the court funds office as well as any refunds on fuel
over-payments from utilities companies.
Previously, Powys County Council used regular bank accounts for each service user and logged payments into spreadsheets and databases designed for administrative purposes rather than financial automation. The system was bureaucratic and costly to operate because it dealt with multiple bank statements showing receipt and cash management on multiple spreadsheets. The council recognised that they needed a scalable system which would enable it to administer the ever-increasing number of vulnerable adults’ accounts more effectively.
By consolidating all deputyship, appointeeship and guardianship accounts into a single, virtualised account structure Cashfac Care Accounts solution provides local authorities with a single, real-time picture of the assets held across all of its service user bank accounts which enables the management of payments and real-time balances.
Cashfac has removed the need for Powys County Council to manually reconcile bank accounts or make individual payments. The automation of all payments and receipts makes it easy for council staff to get an overview of payments, while removing human error from the system and providing the confidence that fees are paid to nursing homes and other suppliers on time.
Cashfac’s solutions meet the requirements of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) in England and Wales and are scalable to meet the needs of the growing number of vulnerable individuals for whom Local Governments and public bodies provide care.
Lucy Stimson from Powys County Council said “Our department was using nearly 50 different paying-in books, so the team wanted virtual accounts to streamline administration and tidy things up. This system has helped claw back the amount of time spent on paper administration.”
Cashfac reduces the administrative burden of setting up and managing large numbers of service user bank accounts. The benefits include:
- Reduced complexity and cost of manually managing multiple spreadsheets, bank statements and bank accounts.
- Greater insight into payments and real-time balances across all accounts.
- Scalable to meet the needs of the growing number of vulnerable individuals.
- Support of all record-keeping and audit requirements for submitting service user account information to the Department for Work and Pensions.