Doncaster Council is set to slash funding for adult social care by £3.1million over the next year.
The local authority aims to make the drastic saving by helping people to live in their own homes for longer, with residential care ‘a last resort, not the default position.’
Under plans for a ‘transformation programme’ of adult social care services set out by Mayor Ros Jones, it is hoped the savings will be achieved through making necessary alterations to properties and ‘making better use of new technology’ to allow people to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.
Mayor Jones says the programme is being launched as part of urgent changes that need to be made in order to ‘secure the future of care services for older people and vulnerable adults in Doncaster.’
According to calculations made by the council, there will be around 10,000 more people aged over 65 living in Doncaster by 2020. The programme is set to go before Doncaster Council’s cabinet next week.
Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for adult social care and equalities Glyn Jones said: “We need to offer people
“We know that people would rather be supported to live in their own home and choose their own support.
“The council still delivers quite a traditional model of social care which no longer always reflects the needs or desires of local people.
“Too many people have been admitted into expensive residential care homes, which are vital but should be used when people are no longer able to continue living safely in their own home.”
The money will be cut from the council’s £140million adult social care budget, which is about one-third of the council’s entire annual revenue budget.
Under the programme, the council aims to reduce the number of older and vulnerable people entering residential care by 119 over the next year.
Conservative Councillor Cynthia Ransome told The Star she believes this could have been achieved in a safer way if the council had not privatised its care homes.
She said she thinks the council could have offered respite care as an alternative and added: “Telling older people, who have done everything they can to stay well, that residential care should be a last resort is going to frighten them.
“Yes, it is necessary to reduce the amount spent on adult social care – but they have not thought this through.”