Future of adult social care in Birmingham

By on 04/03/2011 in News

A report on the future of adult social care in Birmingham will be presented to the city council's cabinet on Monday 14 March.

Local authorities across the country face huge financial challenges, with Birmingham City Council having to save £212million in the next financial year alone. A total of £308million of savings must be found by 2014/15.

This means a substantial reduction in what the council can afford to spend on adult care and a consultation has just come to an end on how things will be done differently in future.

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities, said: “Budgets are always very challenging, particularly this year - we have to find £50million of savings in adult social care next year alone, rising to £118million by 2014/15. However, this administration has a good track record of investment and achievement in adult social care, and of successful transformation.

“Social care needs radical reform; we can't go on as we are and still meet the changing needs of an ageing population. Many people now live long and active later lives so a system designed in the 1940s is simply not sustainable.

“We have been consulting extensively on proposals for a new offer which is at the core of our plan to make the necessary savings and ensure quality of life and health, with an emphasis on preventing people needing care in the first place.”

The new offer will mean:

• An expectation that citizens will meet their care needs from their own resources, helped through better advice and information
• Improved preventative services to keep people out of care
• Funded care services will only be provided by the council for people of low means whose needs are assessed as critical under current government guidance*
• A more integrated enablement and preventative service, working with health partners

As part of the change to the eligibility criteria for council-funded services, people who currently receive council-funded services will have their needs reassessed. As substantial needs will no longer be met it is expected that of the 14,300 receiving regular services around 4,100 people could be affected as assessments take place over the next couple of years. This figure includes those who receive day services. Those whose package will be changed will be given help to find alternative provision.

However, the new offer is for all citizens, with an emphasis placed on prevention and enablement, and stimulating the third sector, with an expected £20million package.

As part of the financial settlement from central government, Birmingham City Council will receive a transfer of funds from the NHS – £15million next year and £14million in 2012/13, which will be spent in consultation with PCTs in order to support changes in social care. Ten million pounds of the first year's funding will contribute towards the third sector stimulus.

A consultation began on 2 December 2010 involving services users, their families and carers, partners, other providers and staff so they could contribute their views on the proposals. As a result of this the wider definition of critical care will be used when reviewing care packages - social interaction will be included rather than simply personal care.

Note to editors

*Critical care is defined as when:

life is, or will be, threatened; and/or
significant health problems have developed or will develop; and/or
there is, or will be, little or no choice and control over vital aspects of the immediate environment; and/or
serious abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur; and/or
there is, or will be, an inability to carry out vital personal care or domestic routines; and/or
vital involvement in work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
vital social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or
vital family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken
For further information contact Sarah Kirby on 0121 303 3885

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