Herefordshire Service Users To Have Their Say On Social Care

All of those who receive day care services from Herefordshire Council will be given an opportunity to comment on proposals to change charges. At last week’s meeting of Cabinet, councillors agreed to proposals for a number of changes in charging for services to adults needing non-residential social care.

These services include the provision of care in people’s homes, attendance at day centres, adaptions to buildings and the provision of transport and meals.

The changes will affect around 400 people in the county and are essential to allow the authority to maintain and develop services in the face of a huge increase in the number of older people in Herefordshire.

“We’re being forced down a path we don’t particularly want to tread,” said Cllr Olwyn Barnett, Cabinet Member (Social Care Adults and Health). “By 2020 the number of older people in Herefordshire is set to rise by 50 per cent, and government says we need to give individuals a wider choice of services with more control over the way their needs are met,” added Cllr Barnett.

“The majority of our older people are on fixed incomes and we appreciate that changes may worry them. “However, they will all be given an opportunity to have their say on the proposals, along with their relatives and carers.”

Letters will be going out to carers and their families later this month inviting them to comment; Herefordshire Council is also drawing up plans to gauge the feeling of the people and organisations providing these services in the county in a similar way.

The council is also planning to hold a number of meetings to which service users and their carers and relatives will be invited and share their views. Similar meetings will also be held for providers of services.

During the consultation a helpline will be set up to allow carers and relatives quick and easy access if they have any questions. The eight-week period when people can tell the council what they think, begins at the end of June and runs on until the middle of August. A report on the feedback will then be considered by Cabinet.