Cuts Would ‘Devastate’ Torbay Care Homes

TORBAY’s care home industry could be devastated by cost-cutting plans. A £2.13million cut to a £36.6million budget set by mayor Nick Bye for adult social care provision would mean a 5.5 per cent efficiency saving.

The cuts mean putting up charges to raise an extra £450,000 through increased income and slashing £150,000 off agency staff costs.

The plan is for a £50,000 reduction in placements to care homes — and a £111,000 reduction in home care packages.

Addressing Monday’s overview and scrutiny board meeting, Mike Vango, chairman of the carers’ group, said: “Care homes are extremely vulnerable without adequate funds.
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“Any cuts would see a drop in quality care and would lead to the closure of many homes.”

Nigel Dua, from the care industry, added: “This is a catastrophe. We are in grave danger of losing good quality care in Torbay.”

Peter Shipman, of the mental health group, added: “We’re looking at very vulnerable people. It is our duty to look after them.”

Meanwhile, Robin Causley, of Age Concern Torbay, said the Bay’s much-heralded two-star rating for social care would be jeopardised.

Mark Edwards, of the Harbour Rise home for the elderly in Paignton, said homes would stop trading.

Carole Toser, the People Commissioner, said the budget cuts were necessary to make up for Torbay Care Trust’s £4.8million shortfall.

Cllr Steve Darling said: “Is this another example of the mayor thinking the unthinkable, like the war memorial, then backtracking?”

Cllr Roger Carter added: “We have to go back to the drawing board.”

Cllr Christine Scouler agreed: “We are here to support these services not undermine them.”