Adult social care charging reform: care account functionality technical specification

Technical specification and associated documents for individual care accounts, allowing local authorities to monitor a person's progress towards the lifetime cap on care costs.

Applies to England



On 7 September 2021, government set out its new plan for adult social care (ASC) reform in England. This included a lifetime cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their personal care, alongside a more generous means test for local authority financial support.

Further details on ASC charging reform were published on 5 January 2022.

Specifically, on technology, the reforms require local authorities to maintain individual care accounts by October 2023, allowing local authorities to monitor a person’s progress towards the cap.

This guidance is the technical specification for the care account functionality and associated documents. This is intended to support ASC IT system suppliers to develop the care account functionality before October 2023. The specification defines the functionality requirements to be developed in, or surfaced through, local authorities’ existing case management systems. It has been developed in consultation with local authorities and ASC IT system suppliers.

On 15 June, the government announced the first phase of implementation support funding. This funding is intended to support local authorities to begin planning and preparations for charging reform and dedicate resource to overseeing the implementation of the care account functionality.

The revised guidance published on 15 June, ‘supporting local preparations’, set out that local authorities will want to consider new ways of working to adapt to new capacity requirements. This could include best practice use of digital tools or using supported self-assessments where appropriate. Therefore, in addition to the care account functionality, additional support will be made available to local authorities to support the use of technologies in driving efficiencies and managing capacity as they implement charging reforms.

DHSC and NHS Transformation Directorate will, working with the sector, support sharing good practice of digital tools that could facilitate efficiency savings for assessments, including learnings from the trailblazer initiative.

Published 13 July 2022
Last updated 5 August 2022 + show all updates
  1. In 'Adult social care charging reform: minimum viable product (MVP) software requirements specification', the MVP: care account functionality diagram has been updated to provide greater clarity of process for those accessing local authority support and those arranging their own care. A link to the revised draft operational guidance has also been added to the document.

  2. First published.