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LCQ16: Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly
     Following is a question by the Hon Stanley Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, in the Legislative Council today (March 22):


     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) launched the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly (the Pilot Scheme) in 2013 to allow eligible elderly persons to use Community Care Service Vouchers (CCSVs) to purchase suitable community care services from recognised service providers (RSPs) under the "money-following-the-user" funding mode. On the other hand, the Chief Executive announced in the 2022 Policy Address that the Pilot Scheme would be regularised. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the following information of each of the First to Third Phases of the Pilot Scheme (launched in 2013, 2016 and 2020 respectively) (set out in a table):
(i) the number of CCSV recipients;
(ii) the number of CCSV users;
(iii) the number of persons who were issued with CCSVs but did not use them;
(iv) the number of persons who left the Pilot Scheme and their reasons for leaving;
(v) the number of applications for long term care services on the Central Waiting List for Subsidised Long Term Care Services the status of which changed from "active" to "inactive" because the applicants had been issued with CCSVs;
(vi) the number of RSPs, the types of services provided and the service quotas, with a breakdown by District Council district;
(vii) the amount of government subsidies; and
(viii) the actual staffing establishment;

(2) given that there are six "co-payment categories" (determined in accordance with the average monthly incomes of the elderly person and the specified household members residing with him/her in the three months preceding the date of application) under the Pilot Scheme, and an elderly person will pay the service fee according to the category to which he/she belongs, of the number of elderly persons involved in each of the categories;

(3) as it is learnt that elderly persons have insufficient understanding of CCSVs, and some elderly persons have left the Pilot Scheme without using the CCSVs issued to them, whether the authorities will step up publicity work for elderly persons;

(4) as there are views pointing out that elderly persons with moderate or severe impairment may have difficulties in choosing suitable services under the Pilot Scheme due to their impaired mobility or limited ability to receive information, of the measures put in place by the authorities to assist such elderly persons;

(5) as there are views that the SWD has not set a uniform service standard for RSPs, of the specific measures put in place by the authorities to regulate RSPs' service quality, so as to ensure the well-being of elderly persons; and

(6) given that the Ombudsman announced in 2021 the launch of a direct investigation into the operational arrangements for the Pilot Scheme, whether the authorities know the latest progress of the relevant investigation work?



(1) and (2) Phases 1 to 3 of the Community Care Service Voucher (CCSV) Scheme for the Elderly were launched in September 2013, October 2016 and October 2020 respectively. The relevant information of each phase is shown in Tables 1 to 9 of the Annex.

(3) The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has been introducing and promoting the CCSV to eligible elderly persons and the public through various publicity means, including holding briefing sessions, broadcasting promotion videos on online platforms as well as taking radio and television interviews, to encourage eligible elderly persons to join the Scheme. Since the implementation of the first phase of the Scheme in 2013, the public has gained a deeper understanding of the Scheme and the number of CCSV users gradually increased from about 1 000 at the end of the first phase to about 7 000 in end-2022. The Government will regularise the Scheme in the third quarter of 2023 and increase the number of beneficiaries in phases to 12 000 in 2025-26.

(4) To facilitate CCSV holders to choose the suitable recognised service providers (RSPs), the CCSV Office will work with the responsible social workers of CCSV holders to jointly provide case management services for the elderly, such as providing them with information on RSPs, assisting them to choose suitable RSPs and service packages and helping them to change RSPs, to ensure that the elderly receive the appropriate services.

(5) The SWD has set up a performance monitoring mechanism to monitor the service performance of the operators. RSPs shall comply with the Service Specification and the Service Agreement signed, and fulfil the service pledges in relation to financial management, performance management mechanism, contingency plan, staffing arrangement, etc. In addition, the SWD conducts annual spot checks to each RSP to examine the relevant records and files, including personal care plans and service records of the elderly. The SWD also collects feedback from CCSV users and/or carers to gauge, evaluate and monitor the performance of the RSPs.

(6) The Office of The Ombudsman announced in December 2021 the commencement of a direct investigation into the Scheme. At the request of the Office, the SWD has submitted detailed information on the Scheme and arranged for the Office to visit RSPs to understand the operation of the Scheme. The SWD will continue to cooperate with the Office's investigation.
Ends/Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:22
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