Nottingham City Council is encouraging people to take part in a consultation looking at the future of charging for adult social care services.
The council is committed to maintaining quality services for elderly, disabled and vulnerable people. However, the number of people in need of social care services is going up, while the budget available to the council is going down each year.
Since 2010, the council’s funding from Government has shrunk by £103m. The continuing cuts to the council grant mean the Government is contributing less money to fund council services and local people and businesses are having to contribute more.
Since 2010/11, the Council has made savings of around £30million from its Adult Social Care budget.
The Government has also set out its expectation for councils to raise income through charging for adult social care.
At the Full Council meeting in March 2015 over £28.768m of savings were agreed for the current financial year. Included within these budget measures was the proposal to increase the following adult social care fees and charges to generate £0.210m in 2015/16, increasing to £0.419m in 2016/17 onwards:
- Extending the range of paid for services to include all citizens receiving long term support services.
- Increasing the charges for Day Care from £5 to £12 per day.
- Increasing the charges for transport to Day Centres from £5 to £8 per return journey.
It is important to recognise that these proposals will not impact upon people who are assessed as being financially unable to contribute towards the cost of their care.
The council’s Fairer Charging Policy ensures that people only pay towards council care services if they can afford to do so. Many people receive fully subsidised council care as they have been assessed as being unable to contribute towards the cost of their care.
Financial assessments would be carried out for all existing and future customers who may be affected by the proposed changes. This will ensure that people will only be charged more if they have been assessed as being able to afford the increased charges.
The money raised through charging is ploughed back into social care services to ensure people receive the best care and support.
Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, said: “We have done all we can to try to protect people from cuts but unfortunately, in some cases, even the most vulnerable people will feel the impact of less funding coming from the Government.
“Government funding for the council has been cut by another £29m this year. This comes at a time when demand for our services is increasing due to our ageing population and more people are living with long term complex social care needs.
“We recognise that any decision regarding charging for social care services affects vulnerable people. We are therefore carrying out this consultation to ensure that everyone gets the chance to have their say.”
Consultation process: Letters for the consultation have been sent out (Tuesday 21st July 2015) to people who may be affected by these proposed changes. If people DO NOT receive a letter then they can be reassured that these changes would not apply to them.
The questionnaire can been completed online – www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/ascchargeshaveyoursay
Should you require the questionnaire in an alternative format, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone on 0115 8763585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your specific request.
The consultation findings will be considered by the Council’s Executive Board in Autumn 2015. If the proposals are approved, at least 4 weeks’ notice would be given before any changes to adult social care charges are implemented.