Handicapped Adults Denied Care In Cash Row Between Birmingham City Council & NHS

SEVERELY handicapped adults are being denied social services care following a dispute between Birmingham City Council and the NHS over who should foot the bill for looking after some of the most vulnerable people in society.

The council has admitted rationing the help it is prepared to offer as its Learning Disability Service budget soars £14 million into the red.

Talks between council Strategic Director for Adults and Communities, Peter Hay, and managers from the three Birmingham Primary Care Trusts have been taking place for more than a year, with no agreement so far about how £1,000-a-week care packages for the most severely disabled people could be shared more fairly between local government and the NHS.

The number of adults with severe learning disabilities and requiring social services care rose by more than 20 per cent last year as advances in medical science meant that people who in the past would not have lived into adulthood are now regularly doing so.

Social care scrutiny committee chairman Len Clark said the council would face “astronomical” costs if it was to respond fully to demand for services.

The care budget is already on course to be over-spent by £12 million, but Coun Clark said the figure would rise to £14 million.

Coun Clark (Con Quinton) accepted the council was in a difficult position.

He said: “We are controlling demand at the moment by not allowing people access to some services.

“But this position will be subject to legal challenge.”

had to pick up the cost of looking after people discharged from hospital with only a short time left to live.

In one instance the care bill for a man “who was dying in a matter of weeks” amounted to £30,000 for a month.

Three years ago, the council spent £45m on care packages for 1,300 adults with learning disabilities. The budgeted for this year is £51m for 1,600 people.