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Consultation approved

Consultation approved into adult social care funding proposal

Cabinet have this week (Thursday) approved plans to consult on the potential for introducing a limit on the amount the County Council would contribute towards the cost of community care packages - which support people to live at home - for all new service users.

Existing service users would not be affected under this proposal unless their care needs changed. If adopted, this proposal would mean that new service users whose community care package costs exceeded the amount the council proposes to contribute could either have to;

Ø  Top-up to meet the cost from alternative sources; e.g. personal/family savings,

Ø  Choose to take funding as a direct payment, allowing them to make their own flexible arrangements

Ø  Change the type or volume of care services they receive - which would still ensure their eligible assessed care needs continued to be met

Ø  Access alternative low level community support in addition to council funded support

Ø  Receive their care in a residential or nursing home. The cost of meeting individual community based packages of care can be far higher than the cost of nursing/residential care.

We are in an unprecedented financial climate and the council has to save around £80million over the next few years. It has to make sure that it is spending its resources as effectively as possible and getting value for money for all Worcestershire's taxpayers. Adult Social Care services are not immune and have to make savings in a way which ensures that the care needs of vulnerable people continue to be met. This is what residents said to focus on in recent consultations and the council remains committed to supporting people, where possible, to live the lives they want to live.

If adopted, this proposal would ensure that the eligible assessed care needs of each and every individual are met in full and that the authority can support as many people as possible to live independently at home, which is acknowledge as being most peoples' preference.

This is also about ensuring fairness and equity for all those who access social care in Worcestershire.

The County Council is also committed to the use of Assistive Technology, which supports people to live independently at home. AT can be a more cost effective way of meeting eligible assessed care needs.

Cllr Philip Gretton, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care, said: "We recognise that this is a difficult proposal and it has to be viewed in the context of the current financial challenges we face. In Adult Social Care we can't avoid making savings, but we have to do this in a way which ensures peoples' eligible assessed care needs are met in full and this proposal, if adopted, would do that. We must be clear that in no way is this proposal going to lead to people not receiving the care they need; all those who access social care services in Worcestershire will have their assessed care needs met, the issue is about ensuring that they are met in the most cost effective way for all Worcestershire residents who have a call on the resources we have. We've showed with recent consultations that we do listen to what people say and so would urge anyone interested in this to get involved and tell us their thoughts during this consultation period."

What next?

A public consultation will be launched and will include face to face meetings with service users, carers and providers. A dedicated helpline and email address will be set up to deal with queries and concerns.

The consultation can be found via the following link Maximum Expenditure Consultation.

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This page was last reviewed 13 July 2012 at 11:55.
The page is next due for review 9 January 2014.