Care and jobs to be hit as Torbay plans to cut £2million

HUNDREDS of elderly people face reductions in their home care help as Torbay Care Trust attempts to cut £2million from its budget next year.

Some 440 pensioners, 20 people with learning disabilities and 40 under 65 with mental health issues face a cut in basic home care help to save £600,000.

Councillors considering the draft budget for the care trust at a review meeting today will be warned that withdrawing these services will result in higher health and social care costs over time. The cuts would also not complement the trust’s policy to reduce the number of clients in residential and nursing homes.

Officers warn it would also be ‘at odds’ with national messages about protecting frontline services and vulnerable people from cuts.
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The trust is facing a reduction on its 2010/11 budget of £42.2million down to £40million in 2011/12. The officers state that taking into account a £150,000 cut already made last year, and increases in pay and prices, a standstill budget would have been £43.3million.

They are proposing efficiency savings of £1.9million and cuts of £1.1million.

They include limiting help for clients to those in critical circumstances saving £500,000.

They are also proposing to take £730,000 off proposals to use more technology to help clients provide extra care facilities, rolling out the system which allows them to manage their own care budgets. This is despite officers saying that the use of technology and giving clients control over their own budgets had, for example, resulted in fewer admissions to accident and emergency, and saved money.

Another £477,000 will be saved as a result of the review of day services, the use of St Edmunds for in-patient services and the fracture liaison service. The trust estimates the equivalent of 37 full-time posts will be lost as a consequence. Some £638,000 would be taken off management costs, workforce productivity and other efficiency measures. The trust is also considering saving £55,000 by reviewing and increase income and charges. It can charge for services such as home care, day care, community meals and transport.