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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Social care cuts concerns in York

Written by The York Press
CONCERNS are growing about the impact of social-care cuts as figures show many of those affected have seen their needs increase.

City of York Council’s cabinet approved plans to stop its community care service – which includes help with paperwork, bathing, shopping and preparing meals – to 184 residents with “moderate” needs last August, to save £390,000 a year.

Figures obtained by the authority’s Liberal Democrat group reveal that, at the end of February, half of these residents had been moved from the “moderate” category to “substantial” following assessments. The Lib Dems said any savings were likely to be cancelled out.

“The use of ‘moderate’ hides the fact this support helped people carry out basic daily tasks,” said Coun Keith Aspden, Lib-Dem spokesman for adult social services.

“We warned any short-term financial gains should be set against the financial and social costs of more people falling into the ‘substantial’ and ‘critical’ needs bands because of worsening health. Six months down the line, we have been proved correct. I hope the cabinet can look again at their decision and the impact it has had.”

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, said people could still get support from the council, the community and voluntary sector.

“Savings will be made while ensuring support continues to be provided to those most in need. Our £6 million commitment to invest in adult social care last month, not supported by the Lib Dems, shows the value we place on care for residents most in need.”