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Hard choices faced for adult care in Norfolk

elderly care oap care old people PPP-150203-142509001
elderly care oap care old people PPP-150203-142509001

County councillors meet on Monday, September 7, to consider how adult social care in Norfolk can be transformed to allow more to stay in their own homes.

Proposals being presented to the adult social care committee include increasing the capacity of the reablement service to help people regain independence after leaving hospital, closer working with partners to spot signs of concern at an earlier stage, and, over time, increasing the number of housing with care places.

The report to councillors comes at a time when Norfolk is having to radically change the way it delivers services.

Since 2011 the council has made savings of £244 million from service budgets, due to a reduction in funding from central government, increasing demand for its services and inflationary pressures.

Whilst the predicted shortfall for the next three years for the council is forecast to be £111m, County Hall is modelling its future services based on a larger shortfall of £169m.

This is so that members have choices and options about how best to prioritise council spending.

Sue Whitaker, chairwoman of the committee, said: “It’s clear that we need to change how we work and think inventively to make limited resources stretch further.

“Given the nature of the department’s work, and a local population that is ageing, I recognise finding further significant savings will be difficult.”

During September and October, all committees of the council have been asked to set out how they would deliver services with 75 per cent of their addressable (‘non-fixed’) budget, bringing forward initial ideas and savings proposals to bridge the gap over the next three years.

The gross adult social services budget for the current year is £358.963 million. A reduction of 25 per cent of the available budget over three years would result in a budget of £308.170 million by 2018-19. The report to councillors states that only a fundamental change to Norfolk’s adult social care model will enable the department to make the required savings.

More detailed options will be brought to the October meeting of the committee ahead of public consultation getting under way at the end of October.

This runs until Thursday, January 14, prior to a final decision in February

The committee meeting is at County Hall, 10am next Monday. All welcome.

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