Adult care services in Lincolnshire face higher cuts

Adult social care in Lincolnshire is facing deeper cuts than the average, figures from the county council suggest.

The authority spent £140m on services such as home care and day centres in 2010/11 but this is being reduced to £130.6m in 2011/12, a fall of 7%.

A survey for the BBC indicates an average cut of 4.7% in adult care by councils in the north of England.

Lincolnshire said a greater proportion of cash was going to these services.
Respite care

Many councils across England are cutting back after grants from central government were cut. They also face rising costs and increased demand for services.

The BBC’s Council Spending: Making it Clear survey estimated adult social care spending would fall by 4.7% to £3.4bn in the North in 2011/12 and rise by 2.7% to £3.33bn in the South.

Separate figures for Lincolnshire County Council show it is aiming to save £125m over the next four years, with about 900 posts being cut.

More than 500 of these posts are expected to be in the children’s services and adult and children’s social care.

Pressure from cuts to adult social care of £9.6m this year are being added to by the loss of specific grants.

The Conservative-led authority is currently holding a number of consultations – including possible changes to eligibility for more than 3,000 moderate need users – to determine how services are affected.

It has already decided to close five respite and day care centres and transfer services to the private sector.

Risk management

But officials insisted they were working hard to deliver quality care in more efficient ways.

Terry Hawkins, from the county council, said: “We are taking time to consult with people who are dependant on adult social care, so we take their views into account before we make any policy decisions or changes.

“Where we decide to change eligibility criteria for example and therein reduce services to people, we will only ever do that after a social worker assessment and we are assured risks can be managed.”

Tony Atkinson, from Boston near Wrangle, has been told his 39-year-old son, Simon, who has learning difficulties, is to be reassessed.

He said: “There have been great strides in treatment over the past years which has made things a little easer and he has received good treatment up until now.

“But the great anguish being caused now, not just to us but all the people we know, is what is going to happen from now on?”

Spending on social care for children in the county is going up by 3%, from £39.6m to £40.8m.