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Dispute over numbers affected by access to care changes
8:00am Friday 17th January 2014 in News
A row has broken out between councillors and an MP about the use of figures demonstrating how many people will be affected by changes to adult social care.
From April people who receive ‘moderate’ care – such as help to carry out personal care or domestic routines – will need to find support elsewhere under plans which could save Bradford Council £1.4 million.
Under the national Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) scheme, people’s levels of need are assessed and put into four categories – critical, substantial, moderate and low.
Currently Bradford Council can provide or pay for care for people who have needs at the moderate level or above, but from April that will change to substantial.
The changes will affect 2,000 people in the district, but a member of the health and social care overview and scrutiny committee, Councillor Vanda Greenwood, is concerned people are being frightened by the way that figure has been used by the Liberal Democrat party.
She said of the 2,000 people who receive ‘moderate’ care, only 70 receive just ‘moderate’ care. The other 1,930 receive a combination of moderate, substantial or critical support.
“Those people will all be reassessed anyway and if they have not got anybody in place to give moderate care, then the Council reassess them and nobody’s going to lose out. They will be signposted to where they can get help,” Coun Greenwood said.
“They’re worrying people that currently receive moderate care into thinking that all of a sudden the Council will stop providing care and it’s not right.”
She said 86 per cent of local authorities were successfully operating at the threshold of substantial and critical care.
Executive member for adult services, Councillor Amir Hussain, also thinks people could be confused.
“The message that people like David Ward and Jeanette Sunderland are putting out is that all 2,000 aren’t going to get any services from the Council, which isn’t true.
“The only thing that will happen to them is that the moderate element of their care plan will be withdrawn. They will still get substantial and critical care.”
Bradford East MP Mr Ward said he had only ever said 2,000 people would be affected by the changes – not that they would all lose their care – and that figure was based on official Council information.
“It’s an uncertainty. I think it’s about not knowing what the outcome will be. It may be that up to 2,000 people will lose some aspect of their care,” he added.
He questioned how the plans would save the Council money if only 70 people were affected.
A Council spokesman said people who lose care will be helped to find alternative forms of support, which could come from voluntary sector groups, partly or fully-funded through grants or contracts with the Council.
Coun Sunderland was not available for comment yesterday.
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