Domiciliary care cuts in Torbay could hit 1,000 people

More than 1,000 people in Devon who receive home care could be affected by proposed cuts of £4m to social services.

Conservative-run Torbay Council has suggested cutting the domiciliary budget of Torbay Care Trust (TCT) by £1.12m over the next year.

Steve Darling, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group, said he was “very worried” about the cuts.

The elected mayor and council will finalise the budget on 1 February.

The report produced for the overview and scrutiny committee outlines proposals from TCT which include reducing the money paid to care providers and reducing short-term placements for respite care.
‘Big change’

It also suggested monitoring clients closely to help them return to independence as quickly as possible, in order to save money.

Anthony Farnsworth, chief executive of TCT, said: “It is a big change. The amount of money that needs to be saved means we are going to buy less care.

“Our responsibility is to make sure the decisions we take are assessed carefully case by case, so we’re not going to be applying general rules of cutting everybody’s care package by the same amount.”

Chris Lane, who runs a firm providing care in Torbay, said his firm had seen a reduction in its hourly rate from £16 to £14.

“Standards will drop. If you’re driving down costs people are not going to train staff properly because they can’t afford to do it.”

Steve Darling, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, said: “I’m just very worried about the level of cuts and the impact on the individuals.

“Torbay council does have £30m in reserves and in the situation where we’ve got the cuts year on year I think it’s no time to stop saying we’re waiting for a rainy day, it’s not raining cats and dogs, it’s pouring.

“We need to break up the piggy bank so that we can help the most vulnerable people in our community.”