Social care in Worcestershire among the best - but fears for future impact on services

The services are set to struggle amid funding cuts

The services are set to struggle amid funding cuts

First published in News
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SOCIAL services in Worcestershire are among the best performing in the country, new figures have revealed.

But the new data released by the Department of Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has been met with a blunt warning that savage council cuts mean that may not be the case for much longer.

Worcestershire County Council wants to cut £32 million from its adult services budget – prompting fears that it is preparing to take a “meat cleaver” to its support for the county’s most vulnerable.

The new HSCIC website launched on Monday, Nov-ember 11, lets people compare social services in different parts of the country.

And it makes healthy reading for services in Worcestershire, with the county ranked ahead of the national and West Midlands averages, as well as “comparable” councils, in key categories including social care-related quality of life and client and carer satisfaction.

But Peter Pinfield, chairman of watchdog Health-watch Worcestershire, said any satisfaction with the figures is tempered by fear of what could be to come.

“The story that we have heard from the council could undermine that particular standing very quickly within the next 12 months,” he said. “While people appreciate that we have to make some changes and adaptations, they are concerned that we will be taking a real step back and from being a high-performing service we will soon be nearer the bottom.

“If you put in more than £30 million of cuts then you will have an impact on the quality of your services, no doubt.

“And that impact is about more than figures on a piece of paper, it is about people’s day-to-day living and the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Carers and representatives from organisations supporting the vulnerable queued up to speak at last week’s county council cabinet meeting when a consultation on the proposed changes – called Future Lives – was agreed.

Among those urging the council to reconsider its ideas was Jonathan Sutton, chief executive of St Paul’s Hostel, who said: “Don’t reach for the meat cleaver when a scalpel will suffice.”

Among the cost-saving proposals are the closure of two day centres for people with learning disabilities and for at-home care visits to be scaled down and replaced with assistive technology.

The proposed cutbacks come as the council battles budget pressures and a need to save £98 million by 2017.

But the council has given strong reassurances about its future performance.

A spokesman said: “We take performance very seriously. Focusing on priority areas and quality of care plays a pivotal role, which underpins the work we do.

“The Future Lives programme aims to promote health and independence, allow greater choice and control, and maximise the quality of services.

“The council will continue to invest in prevention and early help.

“t will need to prioritise those at greatest risk of requiring adult social care and those services where there is best evidence that they reduce the need for adult social care.”

Comments (5)

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12:25am Mon 2 Dec 13

jb says...

And it makes healthy reading for services in Worcestershire, with the county ranked ahead of the national and West Midlands averages, as well as “comparable” councils, in key categories including social care-related quality of life and client and carer satisfaction.

I'd like to know where they get the information for these rankings, I've yet to meet anyone who is in the sightest satisfied with the service they have had with adult social care teams.
And it makes healthy reading for services in Worcestershire, with the county ranked ahead of the national and West Midlands averages, as well as “comparable” councils, in key categories including social care-related quality of life and client and carer satisfaction. I'd like to know where they get the information for these rankings, I've yet to meet anyone who is in the sightest satisfied with the service they have had with adult social care teams. jb
  • Score: -2

9:10am Mon 2 Dec 13

green49 says...

I am involved in this work area and as i said before the service is excellent in most cases you get the moaners never mind what you do but families need to be responsible for there own a bit more, the WCC cuts will come never mind the rubbish spouted about it being looked at its a done deal you can bet on it, as the information being fed in questionaires is loaded and totally unfair so that they get the result they want.
Complain to the councillors, MPs as when the services have gone you wont get them back again.
I am involved in this work area and as i said before the service is excellent in most cases you get the moaners never mind what you do but families need to be responsible for there own a bit more, the WCC cuts will come never mind the rubbish spouted about it being looked at its a done deal you can bet on it, as the information being fed in questionaires is loaded and totally unfair so that they get the result they want. Complain to the councillors, MPs as when the services have gone you wont get them back again. green49
  • Score: 2

9:46am Mon 2 Dec 13

jb says...

I am responsible for my sons care for over 140 hours a week, he gets about 20 hours funded support which I had to fight for. Many families are being left to provide the majority of the care for family members due to cuts. We all know cuts need to be made BUT they the council need to listen to Carers. We can actually save them money but they don't seem to want to listen.
I am responsible for my sons care for over 140 hours a week, he gets about 20 hours funded support which I had to fight for. Many families are being left to provide the majority of the care for family members due to cuts. We all know cuts need to be made BUT they the council need to listen to Carers. We can actually save them money but they don't seem to want to listen. jb
  • Score: 2

11:11am Tue 3 Dec 13

green49 says...

The so called consultations that are going to be done are absolutley corrupt, no one can tell you what services are likely to be cut and also the staff have been gagged as well, lets look at whats probably going?
Support for people means;;

Single and family homeless,domestic and substance abuse,teenage parents,HIV/Aids,men
tal health,learning and physical dissability, ex offenders,young at risk,old and frail elderly, Warden assistance,callalarm
s for the vunerable,etc etc, all this and more will not be supported it all paints a bad picture of how the vunerable and disabled are being treated.
The so called consultations that are going to be done are absolutley corrupt, no one can tell you what services are likely to be cut and also the staff have been gagged as well, lets look at whats probably going? Support for people means;; Single and family homeless,domestic and substance abuse,teenage parents,HIV/Aids,men tal health,learning and physical dissability, ex offenders,young at risk,old and frail elderly, Warden assistance,callalarm s for the vunerable,etc etc, all this and more will not be supported it all paints a bad picture of how the vunerable and disabled are being treated. green49
  • Score: 2

12:09pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

And to add to the lack of democracy it is my understanding that 3 yes, THREE cabinet members only, will make the final decision on these cuts outlined in the Future Lives document, one of them being New cabinet member for Adult & Older Peoples Services, Coun Shelia Blagg who until now has been too busy (her words) to attend the Older Peoples Consultative Group meeting held there at County Hall.
Perhaps she and husband Coun A Blagg also a Cabinet member, are busy investing their combined Attendance allowances and expenses from their council posts of over £50,000 per year or £1,000 per week.
And we still read that this county council are looking to save money while perhaps conveniently managing to look past the cost of the county Councillors.
And to add to the lack of democracy it is my understanding that 3 yes, THREE cabinet members only, will make the final decision on these cuts outlined in the Future Lives document, one of them being New cabinet member for Adult & Older Peoples Services, Coun Shelia Blagg who until now has been too busy (her words) to attend the Older Peoples Consultative Group meeting held there at County Hall. Perhaps she and husband Coun A Blagg also a Cabinet member, are busy investing their combined Attendance allowances and expenses from their council posts of over £50,000 per year or £1,000 per week. And we still read that this county council are looking to save money while perhaps conveniently managing to look past the cost of the county Councillors. Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

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