Tag Archives: adult care services

Social care in the firing line

adult social care trickOver the next two weeks there will be a series of consultation meetings called by the Council to present their budget for 2014-15. Further cuts of the order of £119m are to be made from next years budget. These proposed cuts must be opposed in their entirety.

The meetings will take place
Tuesday 10 December, 5.30pm – 7.30pm, The Lighthouse Suite, St Barnabas’ Church, High Street, Erdington
Wednesday 11 December, 6pm – 8pm, South Yardley Library
Thursday 12 December, 6pm – 8pm, Nishkam Centre, Handsworth
Wednesday 18 December, 6pm – 8pm, Bournville College, Longbridge
Adults and Children’s social care services form a significant part of the Council budget and have been deeply affected by past and present cuts to the Council’s budget. Birmingham against the cuts has set up a Social care working party for service users, carers, workers and anyone else who is interested.

The next meeting of the working party is to take place on Wednesday 15th January at 5.30pm (more details to follow)

The working group has produced two short briefings on the cuts to social care with some ideas for people to use at the budget consultation meetings.

A short Briefing on the Adult’s social care: 3 key points for the Budget consultation

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

The Adult and Communities Green Paper at a glance

feb 26th front for facebookBirmingham 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.

Service re-design

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.

Initial proposals

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.

Comment

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/

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Unison newsletter on cuts

ConDem Cuts Savage Birmingham City Council

Local Government has been given one of the highest rates of cutbacks in the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review, a 28% cut over 4 years or at least a third when allowing for inflation.

To make matters worse, the Government has front-loaded the cuts into the first year, with around half the overall cut in 2011/2. Birmingham is currently consulting on its budget for next year and is proposing £177m of cuts plus an additional £40m to allow for ‘budgetary pressures’, such as the aging population. In the consultation papers and the latest Section 188 notice to accompany it, broad proposals for around £100m of these cuts are made with an expected 2,500 full time equivalent jobs to be cut out. All Directorates are affected.

Adult Care Goes Super-Critical

The biggest cut proposal is also the cruellest.  Adults and Communities are planning to reduce the threshold for receiving care support from Substantial Need to a new super-strict criteria of Critical Personal Care. The Social Services nationally define need in four standard categories, Low, Moderate, Substantial and Critical.

Currently services are provided for people in the top two categories. Now Adults and Communities intend to restrict services to just part of the highest, the Critical category for those with personal care needs.

Substantial care is defined as there is, or will be,

• only partial choice and control over the immediate environment; and/or

• abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur; and/or

• there is, or will be, an inability to carry out the majority of personal care or domestic routines; and/or

• involvement in many aspects of work, education or learning cannot or will not be sustained; and/or

• the majority of social support systems and relationships cannot or will not be sustained; and/or

• the majority of family and other social roles and responsibilities cannot or will not be undertaken.

 

People currently or in the future meeting this criteria will not receive services. Even those with critical need who require social but not personal care will be excluded.

Thousands to Be Privatised

4,000 School meals staff, cleaners, music, outdoor, Health Education and Schools Advisory services staff are proposed to be floated off into a ‘social enterprise’ which will sell its services back to the schools and council.

1,000 Adult Social Workers and other Assessment/Care Planning workers are also to be formed into another ‘social enterprise’ by 2013. Hundreds could move into a Leisure Trust and hundreds more working in Building Cleaning, Urban Design, Civic Catering and Building Consultancy are proposed to be transferred into a ‘Wholly Owned Company’.

150 back office staff in the Council Tax section are to be transferred to Service Birmingham.

UNISON opposes the privatisation of services and is concerned for job security in these private co-operatives. Jobs can be cut instantaneously if the council reduces its purchasing from these companies. Any redundancy costs would have to be borne by the ‘social enterprises’ themselves solely. Who at this time of public service cutbacks would dream of setting up new businesses dependent on contracts from the council ?

Social Enterprises are a face saving way for the Council to privatise services. This is an ideological drive to privatise, not to save money.

Can We Stop These Cuts ?

By standing together, and with the help of the public and service users, Yes We Can. The first step in our Battle for Birmingham’s public services is to PROTEST as loudly and publicly as we can. That’s why we are planning our own Birmingham Demonstration Against The Cuts on Saturday 26th February and we are all joining the TUC National Demonstration for the Alternative – Jobs, Growth and Justice on Saturday 26 March 2011.

26 February Birmingham & 26th March TUC London Demonstrations

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Filed under Cuts, Media/Press