Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Disability groups urge Council to rethink changes to care threshold
Charities have spoken out against proposed changes to the threshold of need when assessing how much vulnerable and elderly people get in their homes.
Bradford Council’s executive will decide whether the Fair Access to Care guidelines should be moved from moderate to substantial when councillors meet on October 1.
But some of those who took part in a 12-week public consultation said they feared the move, aimed at saving millions of pounds a year, could lead to even more deaths and suicides.
Janice Simpson, the strategic director of adult and community services, has said that doing nothing was not an option and her report, published yesterday, recommends raising the threshold despite the concerns.
Now, the Bradford & District Disabled People’s Forum has spoken of their disappointment that the Council does not appear to have listened to vulnerable people affected by the proposed changes.
Its deputy chairman Emmerson Walgrove said: “It is clear in the Council’s report to the executive that 81.7 per cent ‘disagree or strongly disagree’ with people losing their funding for moderate needs.
“Our concern is that without the ‘moderate’ level of care people will lose independence sooner and reach ‘substantial’ and ‘critical’ levels earlier.
“Prevention is better than crisis management and we hope the Council will reject the recommendations.”
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope warned that if the decision to ration essential everyday care goes ahead it will have serious impact on the lives of disabled people.
“They will no longer qualify to get the support they need to get up, get washed and dressed, and live independently,” he said.
“The Council knows from its own consultation the strength of the opposition to this move, and we’d urge it to think again.”
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem), who is meeting Health Minister Norman Lamb this month along with the Disabled People’s Forum, said that the pressure was still needed to prevent the threshold being raised.
“We need to avoid short-term measures that add to long-term costs,” he added.
Mr Ward added: “The Council’s proposals are financially inaccurate, dangerous and short-sighted. They are inaccurate because cutting services to thousands of people in Bradford is a false economy and will actually cost more in the long-term.
“They are dangerous because they will be putting the health and well-being of 2,000 local people in jeopardy. Most of these people will not be able to afford to pay for the basic care services they need so their conditions will deteriorate significantly and quickly with the only outcome being an expensive hospital visit or higher care needs in the long term. These concerns were raised by all three of Bradford’s Clinical Commissioning Groups.”
Comments are closed on this article.