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Council D-Day on spending
8:00am Friday 25th January 2013 in News
MEETING the demands of an increasingly elderly and frail population, making further investment in prevention and early intervention and promoting good health are the key themes emerging from the budget proposals for Hampshire County Council’s adult services.
Councillor Felicity Hindson, the council’s executive member for adult social care, will be asked to consider the budget for delivering services for older and vulnerable people, including younger adults with disabilities, at her Decision Day today.
The budget for 2013/14 includes £94.5m to continue providing vital services such as home, day and residential care – which is 1 per cent more (£900,000) than the budget for 2012/13 (£93.6m).
Savings will continue to be made through efficiencies that protect core front line services, with limited impact on staff. There are no changes to the council’s eligibility criteria for social care support which continue to be set at “substantial” and “critical” levels.
Adult services will continue to monitor the performance and quality of services – including safeguarding vulnerable people – with a strong focus on the user and carer experience.
The council has already committed up to £45m to develop more extra-care facilities to promote choice and independence for older people and more schemes will be supported over the next few years.
By taking early and decisive action to respond to the national deficit reduction programme, Hampshire County Council has achieved savings of £100m over the last two years, putting the council in a strong position to tackle future funding challenges, which are expected to be even tougher from 2015/16.
The report sets out how adult services will achieve further efficiencies to reduce the budget by two per cent to help meet major pressures and demands, with proposed savings of £4.868m split between efficiencies and additional income.
However, grants to voluntary sector organisations, which help people stay independent for longer, are being maintained at the same level as last year.
An ageing and increasingly frail population with more complex needs, together with changes in health services is expected to continue to place pressure on budgets, so the next two years will be used to transform adult services to meet these challenges.
This includes developing new ways of delivering social care – such as extra-care schemes and telecare – to ensure that Hampshire residents continue to receive quality services at the lowest cost.
The 2013/14 budget includes a wider roll out of telecare to allow people to stay independent for longer, efficiencies in transport for vulnerable and older people, matching day care places to demand and a review of re-ablement services for elderly residents discharged from hospital, to include both in-house and commissioned care. People using services for care at home will continue to be assessed to determine how much they contribute to their care.