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Changes to adult social care at Town Hall
9:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
ADULT social care services could be delivered in a new way to help Warrington Borough Council save money and try to avoid more cuts to services under a radical new scheme.
Councillors approved plans to review whether the services it currently provides in-house could be transferred to a social enterprise scheme at an executive board meeting on Monday.
Council bosses have taken inspiration from other authorities who have used the alternative way to deliver adult care in the face of mounting financial pressures.
Clr Pat Wright, executive member for health and wellbeing and adult services, said: “It’s about protecting the most vulnerable.
“It’s something we have to do because money is getting very tight. We have cuts coming from central government and adult social care needs more help because of a growing population.
“There won’t be as much disruption to the elderly and those in care. It will be the same people who are looking after them.
Steve Reddy, interim executive director, added: “We got to the position were budgets would mean straight service cuts or continue to make savings through staffing.
“So we looked at what other people were doing in these services.”
A range of different options, including keeping the service as it is, setting up a local authority trading company, outsourcing to the private or voluntary sector and a joint venture partnership, were considered.
And now a report looking into the viability of a social enterprise scheme is being drawn up to be evaluated in November.
“This all follows on from the Big Care Debate in 2012 when we started looking at how we could maintain services in the face of increasing demand and increasingly limited resources,” added Clr Wright.
At the meeting they also voted to change its charging levels for residents receiving non-residential care.
Before 90 per cent of someone’s disposable income was used to work out what, if any, fees they could pay towards care for services such as home care, supported living and day care.
That level will now rise to 100 per cent from October 21.
Clr Wright was keen to stress anyone could have their payment levels reviewed if they were concerned about extra costs.
“The most vulnerable and those on lowest incomes will continue to be protected under these proposals,” she added.
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