Higher charges and cuts planned for social care in Rutland

Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
Rutland County Council offices in Oakham
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More than 100 people face possible cuts to their council-funded social care following a review of who is eligible for support.

Rutland County Council needs to save £65,000 of its adult social care budget this year and £200,000 in 2014-15.

As a result of the spending cuts and an ageing population, the council is reviewing who is eligible for support 
and later this month councillors will be asked to approve a number of changes. One of the major proposals is to cut support for those deemed to have “moderate’ needs”.

Currently the council provides care for people with moderate, substantial and critical needs. Only 16 per cent of councils offer this level of service.

If the changes are approved, 116 people in Rutland with “moderate” needs will be reassessed and may lose the support they currently receive.

Council leader Roger Begy (Con): “It’s important when faced with big decisions like this that we take into account the views of those directly affected by any possible changes.

“We did a great deal of work earlier this year to publicise these proposals and give our community the opportunity to submit their views. The feedback we received was extremely useful and has played a major part in helping officers determine the best route forward.”

The council is also reviewing its charges for social care.

There was a 63 per cent rise in the number of people referred for social care in Rutland during 2012/13 compared to the previous year and the census forecast predicts a 70 per cent increase in the number of over 65s living in Rutland by 2030 and a 40 per cent increase in over 75s. As a result, councillors will be asked to increase the hourly rate for social care from £11.50 to £13, introduce fees for second carers, increase the maximum weekly charge from £170 to £364 for those with sufficient savings and charge £25 per day for day care.

A final decision will be made in September but the People (Adults and Health) Scrutiny Panel will discuss the plans this evening. The meeting takes place at Catmose at 7pm and is open to the public.

Members of the cabinet will also discuss the plans on Tuesday, August 20 at 9.30am before the final decision is made at a full council meeting in September.

If the plans are approved, the changes will be introduced from October 1. Anyone to be reassessed will be contacted by the council between September and November.