Care cuts in Kirklees are worst in West Yorkshire
KIRKLEES is the only council in West Yorkshire cutting care for people with substantial needs. Research has revealed that the council will make deeper reductions in adult social care next year than Calderdale, Bradford, Wakefield or Leeds.
Vulnerable people’s needs are classed as critical, substantial, moderate or low.
Kirklees currently provides support for people whose needs are classed as critical or substantial.
But from April only those with critical needs will get support.
The change will affect thousands of elderly people as well as those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health problems.
Leeds and Wakefield both provide care for people whose needs are critical or substantial, and neither council plans to change this in 2011/12.
Bradford will stick to its policy of helping vulnerable adults whose needs are critical, substantial or moderate.
Calderdale currently supports people whose needs are classed as low, moderate, critical or substantial.
The council plans to withdraw support for people with low needs from April.
Budget figures for 2011/12 also suggest there will be deeper cuts in Kirklees than any other part of West Yorkshire.
Kirklees councillors last week agreed a budget for 2011/12 which included a 6.2% reduction in the adult social care budget. The figure takes into account a rise in demand next year.
Bradford will cut its spending by 5.2%, followed by Calderdale on 3.8% and Leeds with a reduction of 3.3%.
Wakefield’s family services budget, which includes adult social care, will rise 3% in 2011/12.
A Kirklees spokesman said: “All councils are facing difficult budget decisions and across the country adult social care spend is being tackled in different ways.
“We will continue meeting our statutory obligations to offer support to all people with an assessed critical need. However, our aim is to use our discretionary powers and offer support to everyone in need of services, not just those meeting the criteria of critical.
“In fact we are widening our offer of support so that everyone with health and social care needs can access, as a minimum, information, advice and the offer of help to access local community services.
“Our adult social care offer sets out a new model where more funding is invested at the preventative, early intervention and community-based end of the scale.
“Our approach is to maintain and grow resources and activities which are based in communities. And we are investing £1.4m in this area of work to help make it happen.”
The council currently provides care for 11,000 adults whose needs are classed as critical or substantial. But from April only those considered to have critical needs will receive support.
The total adult social care budget will drop 6.2% from a standstill figure of £94.8m to £88.9m in 2011/12.
Calderdale is one of only two councils in the country which provides care to adults whose needs are classed as low, moderate, substantial or critical. However, the council plans to stop supporting more than 700 people with low care needs.
The council will spend £57.2m on adult social care in 2011/12, down 3.8% from £59.5m this year.
Leeds is in the middle of a public consultation about plans to close at least four of the 19 council-run nursing homes and at least four of the 16 day care centres.
The council’s adult social care budget is due to fall 3.3% from £208.3m this year to £201.4m in 2011/12. Leeds currently provides care to people whose needs are critical or substantial.
The council currently provides care for vulnerable adults whose needs are classed as critical or substantial. There are no plans to change this in 2011/12.
The budget of Wakefield’s Family Services department – which runs adult social care – will rise 3% from £144.3m this year to £148.7m in 2011/12.
The draft budget for next year includes only one specific cut to adult social care spending – abolishing the staff development programme to save £488,000.
Bradford spent £112m on adult social care this year. The council will cut this by 5.9m, or 5.2%, in 2011/12.
The council currently provides support for people whose needs are moderate, critical or substantial and has no plans to change this.