Social care teams are making final preparations for a controversial cut in care for the elderly and disabled.
From next month, adults who receive ‘moderate’ care from Bradford Council – such as help to carry out personal care or domestic routines – will need to find support elsewhere under plans which could save the authority £1.4 million.
In future, Bradford Council will only provide or pay for care for people who have needs assessed as ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’.
The change, expected to affect up to 2,000 people in the district, faced huge opposition from Bradford and District Disabled People’s Forum and local Liberal Democrats, including Bradford East MP David Ward.
Now a new report reveals the behind-the-scenes work being done ahead of the roll-out. The report, by strategic director of adult and community services Janice Simpson, says much of the work is designed to mitigate the effects of the changes on those who could lose some or all of their care.
It says staff in the Council’s adult services team have been given refresher training on the new threshold so it can be applied consistently across the district. Those who are likely to lose their eligibility for care will then be given a comprehensive review of their support needs.
The report says: “Where they are deemed no longer eligible, they will be provided with every support to organise any ongoing support they may wish to purchase from their disability-related benefits.”
A hotline which people call to enquire about social care is also being boosted, with extra staff taken on to improve call answering rates. Councillor Amir Hussain (Lab), executive member for adult services, said reassessments would be carried out gradually in a process which could take up to a year.
He said: “We are expecting a smooth transfer but a lot will depend on what happens when we reassess people.
“I don’t really see any issues we can’t overcome.”
Mr Ward said while he still disagreed with the changes, he welcomed the efforts made to ease the transition.
He said: “It’s a confusing time for many people in terms of what they will actually receive, and it’s quite right that the local authority should devote extra resources to that.”
The report will be discussed at the next meeting of the Council’s Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny meeting, on Thursday.