Social care eligibility criteria are being maintained in Brighton and Hove, says council leader

Posted On 17 Dec 2013 at 9:22 am

Elderly and disabled adults who need social care in Brighton and Hove are not having their care cut through changed eligibilty criteria, according to the leader of the council.

In Latest magazine today (Tuesday 17 December) Councillor Jason Kitcat, the Green Party leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, wrote: “Unlike other councils we’re maintaining our eligibility criteria, meaning everyone who needs help will continue to get it.”

His article about the challenge of tackling a growing demand for help with budgets under pressure was published a day after research highlighted how services were struggling elsewhere.

The research was published by the Care and Support Alliance, a consortium of more than 70 organisations representing and supporting older and disabled people, including disabled children, those with long-term conditions and their families.

It said: “The care and support system in England is in crisis.

“Services that are designed to help older and disabled people and their carers to live well and independently are letting them down.”

The Care and Support Alliance commissioned research from the Political and Social Sciences Research Unit at the London School of Economics (LSE).

The research measured changes to the number of older and disabled people receiving social care since 2005.

Councillor Jason Kitcat

Councillor Jason Kitcat

It built on previous work by the research unit on the nature of the criteria used for determining social care eligibility in England.

That work examined the differences in how the thresholds are implemented and the changes in minimum eligibility thresholds in councils across the country.

The latest research builds on the earlier work. It aims to measure the changes in levels of social care provision since 2005 focusing on two indicators

  • the number of adults receiving council-brokered social care support
  • the levels of net council spending on adult social care

The Care and Support Alliance said: “Importantly, this research takes into account the significant demographic change that has taken place over this period.”

Among its key findings were that the number of people receiving social care had fallen five years in a row by 347,000 since 2008.

Taking into account demographic changes – the growing number of older people – the LSE found that as many as 453,000 people had lost their right to care within five years.

The findings were published as MPs debated the government’s Care Bill.

The Care and Support Alliance said: “The government’s introduction of the Care Bill is extremely welcome and the Care and Support Alliance is very supportive of the bill.

“The bill contains many important reforms, including placing the ‘wellbeing’ of an individual receiving care at its heart.

“However, the bill will not improve the lives of older and disabled people or their families unless it is matched with long-term sustainable funding.

“It is clear that squeezed local authority budgets are having a huge impact on the social care that older people, disabled people and their carers receive.”

In Latest today Councillor Kitcat wrote: “Councils are facing a double whammy of cuts in government funding combined with increasing demand for services as more of our residents get older.

“At the current rate money to provide all other local services – such as education, housing, libraries, and parks – will run out.

“Social care services make up a third of the spending that we have control over.

“With mounting government cuts, we have little option but to look at ways of saving money within these areas.

“Over the past few years we’ve made small changes to social care services, mainly through consolidating care homes that have fewer people using them and supporting vulnerable people access activities that they want to do around the city.

“With the ‘personalisation’ scheme, elderly and disabled people are able to choose from a range of activities they would like to do with their allocated budget.

“This means that fewer are choosing to come to formal council-run day-care centres instead going to the cinema or bingo, for instance.

“It’s great that people want to participate in all that our city has to offer. As a result, however, our services at day-care centres are being used less.

“So under the draft budget proposals we will continue to combine lesser-used residential and day centres but still maintain the services themselves, albeit at different locations across the city.

“It goes without saying that any changes can be very difficult for vulnerable people and it’s not something that we undertake lightly.

“However, unlike other councils we’re maintaining our eligibility criteria, meaning everyone who needs help will continue to get it.

“The austerity consensus between the Tories and Labour in Westminster means that it’s crucial that we don’t just look to next year, but longer term to protect these services.

“Only by making difficult organisational changes will our essential social care services be able to survive.”

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    People who have continuing and ongoing home help need ARE having it terminated to save money . That is just a simple fact.

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    People who have continuing and ongoing home help need ARE having it terminated to save money . That is just a simple fact.

  3. Stellar Andrews Reply

    Disabled peoples care is being terminated, this is to make the figures look good.
    I’m experiencing this first hand, My quality of life has is zero now! There no consideration in B&H Social Services. And complaints are being ignored.
    There just a bunch of surreptitious liars.

  4. Stellar Andrews Reply

    Disabled peoples care is being terminated, this is to make the figures look good.
    I’m experiencing this first hand, My quality of life has is zero now! There no consideration in B&H Social Services. And complaints are being ignored.
    There just a bunch of surreptitious liars.

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