Birmingham City Council announced it’s Green Paper on Adult social care services this week. It’s intention is to pave the way to make further budget cuts to care services, additional to the cuts already budgeted for.
The Green paper is a prelude to the formal budget setting for 2014-15 which will start in the Autumn.
Current cuts are insufficient
These services are already committed to saving £46m between 2013/14 and 2016/17, before any further savings proposals identified by the Service Review are considered.
However, these savings don’t go nearly far enough to meet the financial challenge posed.
Future cuts proposed
We believe this can provide total savings of around £37m next year rising to over £75m per year by 2016-17.
The key objectives in redesigning services proposed are:
Reduce reliance on residential and nursing care.
Improve access to support services to enable people to live in their own homes in their community.
Promotion of choice through greater use of individual budgets.
Improved planning and support to young people with additional needs becoming adults.
Increase use of care in the community.
The key to achieving this will be working together and joining up our services:
Consistency between children’s services and adult services – to ensure a “whole life” approach and a more seamless transition from one service to the next
Integrating and aligning our services with the NHS. This has been progressing for some years, but this year will mark the start of a major leap forward towards a joined up approach
Radically changing the way we deliver specialist care services, such as day centres and home care
Working more closely with local communities and recognising the role that we all play in supporting our neighbours, friends and relatives.
This will mean better planning for very frail people already in care homes, so that increasing needs at the end of life can be met in the care home, not by transfer to hospital. The Plan will pave the way for better multi agency working for people outside hospital.
We are considering establishing a social enterprise to enable specialist care services to trade outside the council. There are potential gains from this operating model and could save the council around £2.5m in three years.
We are considering ceasing council owned residential provision for short breaks for people with disabilities and their carers and replacing it with individual budgets.
Who can argue with better joined up support services allowing people to live in their own homes?
The Green Paper is great on vision but has very little detail in of how the additional £75m cuts will be made. Specifically how will services be improved while simultaneously being cut, remembering that there is growing need for services due to demographic changes.
The Green paper proposals represents a further move away from directly provided services by the Council towards a greater reliance on commissioning and individual budgets. This is a direct threat to jobs.
The greater use of mutual support for people in their community is code for increasing the exploitation of the unpaid labour of largely women carer’s.
The Green Paper is intended to prepare and softening local public opinion to accept massive cuts in the years ahead. Adult social care services need to be a priority for anti-cuts campaigning.
(all text in italics is a direct quotet from the Green Paper)
The Green paper can be accessed here: http://birminghamnewsroom.com/2013/06/the-future-for-adults-and-community-services/