Worcestershire county council is considering plans to cap the amount it pays for domiciliary care to people under 65 at home.
Planned cuts by Worcester County Council could mean that disabled people under 65 who receive high cost care packages, could be forced to leave their home, lose their independence and move into a cheaper, residential option. This could set a precedent for other councils as they struggle to reconcile squeezed budgets with increasing demands for social care.
The proposals are out to consultation and are due to be considered by councillors in September 2012. The Council stresses that the policy would only apply to new service users and to those whose needs are reassessed. However, this may mean that once a person’s costs go above the cap and they are reassessed, they could lose the ability to remain in their own home with a care package,
According to Worcestershire’s head of adult social care, Catherine Driscoll, her authority is “absolutely committed” to the principle of choice. But the council has had to make three-year savings, starting last year, of more than £15.2m on adult social care, with more to come.
Worcestershire County Council has said that if the capping policy had been in place, savings could be identified in about half the cases (some had needs that were too complex to be met by an alternative). Driscoll insists the cap would not be rigid, but merely a “comparator for what’s reasonable to meet needs”.
The government has stressed that it is committed to promoting independence and giving people control in the white paper on social care published on 11 July 2012.
Clarke Willmott is now able to offer publicly funded (Legal Aid) advice and representation on community care issues.
We can assess whether or not you are eligible for Legal Aid so that we can assist you in understanding and securing your rights. If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, then we still may be able to help you.