Changes to adult care go before councillors

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Councillors will vote on proposed cuts to adult care services in Derbyshire next week.

Members of Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday to discuss the responses to a consultation on plans to save £60 million from the authority’s budget for adult social care.

Three proposals were consulted on - changing who qualifies for council care and support at home by raising the eligibility threshold from ‘higher moderate’ to ‘substantial’ level, which would mean only people who have been assessed as having substantial needs or above would be eligible to receive on-going support from the county council in the future; increasing the financial contribution (co-funding) people make towards their care and support; and introducing a transport policy covering the council’s adult care services which would mean changes to the way transport is provided or arranged by the council to travel to day care services and other activities and the introduction of a flat rate charge.

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Cllr Clare Neill said: “The county council is facing massive budget pressures like never before and we have to acknowledge that this will have a big impact on adult care services.

“Since launching the consultation in January we have done all we can to try to find ways of reducing the impact and mitigating against any cuts we do have to make. But, the cuts to the budget are so huge that it is impossible to maintain all our services as they are.”

More than 1,800 responses were received during the consultation and the cabinet will be asked to consider changes made to the original proposals in response to the consultation, including introducing a proposed charge of £5 per day, rather than per journey, for transport to adult care services.

The consultation also asked people for their views on raising the contribution that people make towards their care, currently set at 50 per cent of the lower rate Attendance Allowance, middle rate Disability Living Allowance (Care) or standard rate Personal Independence Payment.

The options consulted on were raising it to 60 per cent, 75 per cent, 90 per cent or no change being made. Following concerns raised during the consultation it is proposed to be set at 75 per cent if cabinet agrees.

In addition, if it is agreed to change who qualifies for council care and support at home by raising the eligibility threshold from `higher moderate’ to `substantial’ level, all clients would have a review of their circumstances before any decision is made to stop their services.