Home care choices cut for severely disabled as Worcestershire council looks to save £125,000 a year

Worcester News: WORRIED: Anthony Driver is a full-time carer for his fiancée Collette Jackson. (45171701) Buy this photo » WORRIED: Anthony Driver is a full-time carer for his fiancée Collette Jackson. (45171701)

DISABLED people fear being forced out of their own homes and into residential care centres due to controversial council spending cuts.

About 2,000 residents with severe disabilities get around-the-clock care in Worcestershire, which includes flexible visits at home and 24-hour support for tasks such as dressing, washing and feeding.

But the county council says the costs are too high and moving severely disabled people into care homes will save it £500,000 over the next four years.

From now on, all new service users will be offered alternatives such as living in care homes or ‘cluster’ flats, with on-call nursing.

The changes will mean that anyone currently receiving the package will be faced with the agonising decision to go into a home if their needs “escalate” and are deemed to be too expensive to maintain at home.

At-home support will be generally avoided unless families can contribute to the costs, or in cases where it is cheaper than a residential care home.

The change was voted through by the county council’s Conservative cabinet yesterday, despite bitter opposition from campaigners.

At the start of the meeting Jacky Payton, co-chair of the Worcestershire Coalition for Independent Living, said: “This has the potential to restrict choice and goes against the ethos of independent living.

“It is difficult to see how it will not force people into residential care.”

The council’s community care package has cost taxpayers £11 million in the last six years alone. It also says 100 current users' needs cost more than £52,000-a-year each, with one disabled person’s bill spiralling to £232,000 in just 12 months.

At-home support is about three times more expensive than placing people into care homes. Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, Councillor Philip Gretton, said: “The approach will be to compare, on an individual basis, the costs of meeting their needs in a residential setting against the costs of meeting it in the community.

“This will allow a discussion about how their needs could be met in the community in a way that is comparable.

“We won’t ‘force’ people into care homes,” he said.

“People coming into the service with progressively higher needs are not being matched by those who leave it, because happily, people are now living longer.”

Collette Jackson knows all about the daily problems people with disabilities face.

The 47-year-old, of Himbleton Road, St John’s, Worcester, was born with cerebral palsy and also suffers arthritis and spinal problems.

As a recipient of the council’s community care package, she gets help with routine tasks like getting dressed for the day ahead.

“I’m livid,” she said. “My fiance Anthony does the bulk of my support but I also rely on these carers to help me.
 

“We should be going forwards in society, not backwards. My worry is what could happen if my needs escalate. If I’m forced to go into a home I won’t be independent, will I? Now, I can go outside when I want to go out. I can do what I want, I’ve got freedom.


“This could affect my relationship, and my life. So many disabled people are worried.”

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:06am Fri 9 Nov 12

mayall8808 says...

There has this week been another huge range of cuts and not been announced to any supply partners of any social services as yet, its a disgrace as all the contract services have been cut, the Mr Hickling who came from the NHS does not have a clue what he is doing as some highly experienced staff in this area of expertise have been told to apply for another job within the council, WHY is there no top paid managers going who have no clue how to run a department at all.
There has this week been another huge range of cuts and not been announced to any supply partners of any social services as yet, its a disgrace as all the contract services have been cut, the Mr Hickling who came from the NHS does not have a clue what he is doing as some highly experienced staff in this area of expertise have been told to apply for another job within the council, WHY is there no top paid managers going who have no clue how to run a department at all. mayall8808

9:37am Fri 9 Nov 12

Andy-Apache says...

Where is the care budget derived from? Is it part of the social security budget?
Where is the care budget derived from? Is it part of the social security budget? Andy-Apache

10:54am Fri 9 Nov 12

stevoe says...

More slash and burn of services these people do not use and are not affected by. Scandalous.
More slash and burn of services these people do not use and are not affected by. Scandalous. stevoe

11:20am Fri 9 Nov 12

140354 says...

I have worked as a support worker in care homes for several years. I know of several cases where residents live in care homes costing in excess of £1000 per week but who would be perfectly able to survive in their own homes with a minimum of support. The care home owners do nothing to prompt these individuals to establish greater independence because these residents represent 'easy money' and at the end of the day, the care homes are businesses and in it first and foremost for profit. The council should do more to re-assess these care home residents; Not only could huge amounts of money be saved but it would also free up accommodation for more worthy and needy cases.
I have worked as a support worker in care homes for several years. I know of several cases where residents live in care homes costing in excess of £1000 per week but who would be perfectly able to survive in their own homes with a minimum of support. The care home owners do nothing to prompt these individuals to establish greater independence because these residents represent 'easy money' and at the end of the day, the care homes are businesses and in it first and foremost for profit. The council should do more to re-assess these care home residents; Not only could huge amounts of money be saved but it would also free up accommodation for more worthy and needy cases. 140354

11:24am Fri 9 Nov 12

Matthew Jenkins says...

How can Councillor Philip Gretton claim that this policy "won’t ‘force’ people into care homes", when that is exactly what the policy does? It will force those who can't afford to cover the costs into a home against their will, thus depriving them of all the benefits of independent living. They could then spend decades in a home, rather than being a part of the community.
How can Councillor Philip Gretton claim that this policy "won’t ‘force’ people into care homes", when that is exactly what the policy does? It will force those who can't afford to cover the costs into a home against their will, thus depriving them of all the benefits of independent living. They could then spend decades in a home, rather than being a part of the community. Matthew Jenkins

1:45pm Fri 9 Nov 12

dulon says...

If you care to do a little research you will find that Mr Gretton has had a tragically large amount of home care experience. I have both parents in their 90s both fiercely independent and will not never wish to go into a home . They both make demands on family and state alike. But , for their quality of life and peace of mind to be met they are making greater and greater demands upon our social services and family members . Some where there is an acceptable solution but it is beyond me !
If you care to do a little research you will find that Mr Gretton has had a tragically large amount of home care experience. I have both parents in their 90s both fiercely independent and will not never wish to go into a home . They both make demands on family and state alike. But , for their quality of life and peace of mind to be met they are making greater and greater demands upon our social services and family members . Some where there is an acceptable solution but it is beyond me ! dulon

4:11pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Frank13 says...

Philip Gretton does indeed have personal experience of what is a very difficult situation. I look after my elderly mother, including cooking for her (and my culinary skills leave a lot to be desired). Full or nearly full-time care is always expensive, we are living longer and fewer people have extended families living locally these days. Something has to give.
Philip Gretton does indeed have personal experience of what is a very difficult situation. I look after my elderly mother, including cooking for her (and my culinary skills leave a lot to be desired). Full or nearly full-time care is always expensive, we are living longer and fewer people have extended families living locally these days. Something has to give. Frank13

4:19pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Keith B says...

It is just another way for this Socialist Council wearing Tory clothing (does that make them National Socialists?) to steal the homes of old folk to stop them handing them on to their children.

This 6th richest Country in the world keeps pleading poverty in order to keep the money in the hands of the rich, but the reality is that VOTES are nowadays in the hands of the majority older generation and those of us who are rapidly approaching it - and if the Government and Local Government keeps hitting old people they simply won't be in Government next time around.

We need a GREY Party that looks after what people born after 1945 were promised - "that you pay into the system while you are working through national insurance and we will look after you from cradle to grave".

If they want to change that so that promise is withdrawn from everyone born after (say) 1990, fine; but we have to look after those to whom that promise was made. The fact that successive Governments squandered the National Insurance money the minute it was paid in is simply tough luck. They should have put in savings. Government has a absolute obligation - indeed a contract - to look after it's older population and that doesn't mean stealing their houses and putting them in homes.

Of course in this week of Police Commissioner elections, does this mean the 76 year old Independent candidate will be operating out of a Care Home to handle the near quarter of a billion pound police budget - because sure as hell the Council would like to force him into one!
It is just another way for this Socialist Council wearing Tory clothing (does that make them National Socialists?) to steal the homes of old folk to stop them handing them on to their children. This 6th richest Country in the world keeps pleading poverty in order to keep the money in the hands of the rich, but the reality is that VOTES are nowadays in the hands of the majority older generation and those of us who are rapidly approaching it - and if the Government and Local Government keeps hitting old people they simply won't be in Government next time around. We need a GREY Party that looks after what people born after 1945 were promised - "that you pay into the system while you are working through national insurance and we will look after you from cradle to grave". If they want to change that so that promise is withdrawn from everyone born after (say) 1990, fine; but we have to look after those to whom that promise was made. The fact that successive Governments squandered the National Insurance money the minute it was paid in is simply tough luck. They should have put in savings. Government has a absolute obligation - indeed a contract - to look after it's older population and that doesn't mean stealing their houses and putting them in homes. Of course in this week of Police Commissioner elections, does this mean the 76 year old Independent candidate will be operating out of a Care Home to handle the near quarter of a billion pound police budget - because sure as hell the Council would like to force him into one! Keith B

7:19pm Fri 9 Nov 12

mod1979 says...

Why don't the care provider reassess the costs..These agencies charge extortionate amounts of money, and sometimes try and claim money for care they have not provided. Thus forcing W.C.C to cut costs because of dishonest care providers. I encountered this on a daily basis whilst working in the accounts dept.
Why don't the care provider reassess the costs..These agencies charge extortionate amounts of money, and sometimes try and claim money for care they have not provided. Thus forcing W.C.C to cut costs because of dishonest care providers. I encountered this on a daily basis whilst working in the accounts dept. mod1979

8:16pm Fri 9 Nov 12

pdenham says...

Like the Tory-led government, our Tory-led county council inflicts harm on those least able to fend for themselves. Everyone who supports such cuts such ask themselves "How would I like it if this happened to one of my family?" before doing it to others.
Like the Tory-led government, our Tory-led county council inflicts harm on those least able to fend for themselves. Everyone who supports such cuts such ask themselves "How would I like it if this happened to one of my family?" before doing it to others. pdenham

10:21pm Fri 9 Nov 12

RobertR says...

Typical Conservative practice.Punish the poorest and most needy members of our society. But look on the bright side;-
At least G4S isn't running the care services.
Typical Conservative practice.Punish the poorest and most needy members of our society. But look on the bright side;- At least G4S isn't running the care services. RobertR

12:38am Sat 10 Nov 12

jb says...

I can only speak from my personal experience with adult and community services learning disability team and either they are dishonest or don't know what they are doing. Long story short my son has severe learning disabilities and needs support 24/7. His assessed budget was grossly inadequate to cover more than one day a week with a support worker (agency) so I declined this as it was also far too expensive. I've been telling them this for the past year. On Monday social worker rang, conclusion of conversation was that yes it was far too little to help David therefore he was removing us from his case load as he couldn't help us due to me declining such an insulting budget amount. Yesterday I emailed him confirming my reasons so that they would be understood and recorded. Today I had a reply email telling me that he never said that the amount could not be increased and leaving all financial matters aside what would I consider as an ideal care package for my son. I'm yet to forward a response.
In my opinion ifmtherenwas a fairer distribution of the funding more people would benefit. It won't mean more people going into care homes just less people hogging the funding.
I can only speak from my personal experience with adult and community services learning disability team and either they are dishonest or don't know what they are doing. Long story short my son has severe learning disabilities and needs support 24/7. His assessed budget was grossly inadequate to cover more than one day a week with a support worker (agency) so I declined this as it was also far too expensive. I've been telling them this for the past year. On Monday social worker rang, conclusion of conversation was that yes it was far too little to help David therefore he was removing us from his case load as he couldn't help us due to me declining such an insulting budget amount. Yesterday I emailed him confirming my reasons so that they would be understood and recorded. Today I had a reply email telling me that he never said that the amount could not be increased and leaving all financial matters aside what would I consider as an ideal care package for my son. I'm yet to forward a response. In my opinion ifmtherenwas a fairer distribution of the funding more people would benefit. It won't mean more people going into care homes just less people hogging the funding. jb

7:28am Sat 10 Nov 12

green49 says...

As i understand so far the WCC has changed its internal set up again, some of the best staff have been moved out of there jobs and have to take a lower admin one to save redundancy, now that is to cut back on the finance, NO ONE from the top level is affected again, but all the care services will be revamped, NON of the services such as Homeless, Social care, supporting people etc etc that fall under the banner have been informed, it is supposed to be a partnership with the service providers, they will get a shock, the service will decline, DO NOT blame the office staff they have been fighting against this within the council but the high and mighty useless over paid bosses do not know what they are doing, IF you have a complaint about the care etc go to the top and complain as it is there fault.
As i understand so far the WCC has changed its internal set up again, some of the best staff have been moved out of there jobs and have to take a lower admin one to save redundancy, now that is to cut back on the finance, NO ONE from the top level is affected again, but all the care services will be revamped, NON of the services such as Homeless, Social care, supporting people etc etc that fall under the banner have been informed, it is supposed to be a partnership with the service providers, they will get a shock, the service will decline, DO NOT blame the office staff they have been fighting against this within the council but the high and mighty useless over paid bosses do not know what they are doing, IF you have a complaint about the care etc go to the top and complain as it is there fault. green49

7:30am Sat 10 Nov 12

green49 says...

mod1979 is also correct, but all the people who are affected should get off there butts and make some noise.
mod1979 is also correct, but all the people who are affected should get off there butts and make some noise. green49

8:13am Sat 10 Nov 12

jb says...

green49 is it really worth complaining to the council about the council, I tried keeping one issue informal when a manager asked if I wanted to make a complaint. I was met with 'the person concerned cannot recall the conversation or is able to justify why he failed to take action as he should have' response. Futile to peruse anything against that attitude. The system is failing and as I said in my personal experience individuals have failed to do their jobs too.
green49 is it really worth complaining to the council about the council, I tried keeping one issue informal when a manager asked if I wanted to make a complaint. I was met with 'the person concerned cannot recall the conversation or is able to justify why he failed to take action as he should have' response. Futile to peruse anything against that attitude. The system is failing and as I said in my personal experience individuals have failed to do their jobs too. jb

10:28am Sat 10 Nov 12

markcroft1975 says...

join in with this cause on our facebook group - https://www.facebook
.com/groups/wcc.cap.
socialcare/
join in with this cause on our facebook group - https://www.facebook .com/groups/wcc.cap. socialcare/ markcroft1975

1:24pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Handcart says...

The Council cannot force people out of their homes. A little something called Human Rights. It CAN decide that it has provided us with 'enough' of a care budget. Leaving them free to say that, if we cannot cope, it would be 'up to us' to choose to move out. The idea appears to be that the action and the effect are kept separate. I wonder if this position would really withstand a legal challenge. Don't roll over. Stick up for your rights.

Many private care companies pay staff poorly but charge a lot. If you are managing or helping someone manage a care budget, DO take the time to consider employing carers yourself. Paying less for your care this way can be a way of taking the profit out of care, and that's the real scandal, folks.
The Council cannot force people out of their homes. A little something called Human Rights. It CAN decide that it has provided us with 'enough' of a care budget. Leaving them free to say that, if we cannot cope, it would be 'up to us' to choose to move out. The idea appears to be that the action and the effect are kept separate. I wonder if this position would really withstand a legal challenge. Don't roll over. Stick up for your rights. Many private care companies pay staff poorly but charge a lot. If you are managing or helping someone manage a care budget, DO take the time to consider employing carers yourself. Paying less for your care this way can be a way of taking the profit out of care, and that's the real scandal, folks. Handcart

1:46pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Handcart says...

Mayall 8808 - If you mean Mr Harling, he's not in post yet, but is it really the local leaders who decided to cut? I thought it was Cameron/Osborne and the failed attempts to cut the deficit and forced all the leaders to play along?

Andy-Apache - the social care budget is not the same as social security. That comes direct from government, sort of, though it is also being cut in ways that affect disabled and disadvantaged people very badly. As well as having a whiff of social engineering, such as deterring poorer people from having so many kids by cutting child benefit to those out of work.

Green49 - Some boses were affected. I think the head of social services has been squeezed out in the merge that brings in Mr Harling. Also the number of departments has been cut so less directors oversall. Problem is, whose doing all the work? Is it getting pushed on down the tree so the front line staff you meet are more pressed than ever?
Mayall 8808 - If you mean Mr Harling, he's not in post yet, but is it really the local leaders who decided to cut? I thought it was Cameron/Osborne and the failed attempts to cut the deficit and forced all the leaders to play along? Andy-Apache - the social care budget is not the same as social security. That comes direct from government, sort of, though it is also being cut in ways that affect disabled and disadvantaged people very badly. As well as having a whiff of social engineering, such as deterring poorer people from having so many kids by cutting child benefit to those out of work. Green49 - Some boses were affected. I think the head of social services has been squeezed out in the merge that brings in Mr Harling. Also the number of departments has been cut so less directors oversall. Problem is, whose doing all the work? Is it getting pushed on down the tree so the front line staff you meet are more pressed than ever? Handcart

1:53pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Omicron says...

Am I missing something here?
WCC want to move disabled people into care homes because it is cheaper yet when it comes to the elderly they want to keep them out of care homes because it is more expensive.
Talk about shooting themselves in the foot.
Am I missing something here? WCC want to move disabled people into care homes because it is cheaper yet when it comes to the elderly they want to keep them out of care homes because it is more expensive. Talk about shooting themselves in the foot. Omicron

2:32pm Sat 10 Nov 12

green49 says...

JB write a formal complaint stating time and date and what was said, do not let go,
Handcart, some extremely knowedgable bosses were hounded out and Harling put in, he will devastate the lot, he has no background in all the services and he has been in the job months, all that went on this week has not been notified to the service providers or unions etc, it is totally underhand and not fair to people who will be redundant.
This council cannot be trusted.
JB write a formal complaint stating time and date and what was said, do not let go, Handcart, some extremely knowedgable bosses were hounded out and Harling put in, he will devastate the lot, he has no background in all the services and he has been in the job months, all that went on this week has not been notified to the service providers or unions etc, it is totally underhand and not fair to people who will be redundant. This council cannot be trusted. green49

11:14pm Sat 10 Nov 12

jb says...

green49 what would be the outcome of a formal complaint? It's not financial gain that I would be hoping for but to get the whole corrupt system to change and be 'outed' so I doubt that would happen. I appreciate and understand your advise but the last time I made a reasonable, calm complaint direct to a manager they went behind my back to my GP and said I needed medical help! Thankfully my GP knows me and wrote to them supporting me.
green49 what would be the outcome of a formal complaint? It's not financial gain that I would be hoping for but to get the whole corrupt system to change and be 'outed' so I doubt that would happen. I appreciate and understand your advise but the last time I made a reasonable, calm complaint direct to a manager they went behind my back to my GP and said I needed medical help! Thankfully my GP knows me and wrote to them supporting me. jb

8:17am Sun 11 Nov 12

mayall8808 says...

JB; write it all down or better still do not be interviewed on your own, tape any conversation you have with officials and demand you get a copy of anything in writing, when these idiots see your serious they will have no choice but to be straight with you, also ask for the freedom of information on your dealings as they will not like that, be a pain, tread on toes and most of all name names, i do they hate me but i don't get lied too.
This government could not careless about anything but money, yes things have to be paid for but so much is wasted in this country and we don't even look after our own, its a disgrace.
JB; write it all down or better still do not be interviewed on your own, tape any conversation you have with officials and demand you get a copy of anything in writing, when these idiots see your serious they will have no choice but to be straight with you, also ask for the freedom of information on your dealings as they will not like that, be a pain, tread on toes and most of all name names, i do they hate me but i don't get lied too. This government could not careless about anything but money, yes things have to be paid for but so much is wasted in this country and we don't even look after our own, its a disgrace. mayall8808

12:30am Mon 12 Nov 12

Jabbadad says...

frank13 apart from showing your political support for Philip Gretton Tory Cabinet member responsible for older peoples services, and being aware of him in the past having had personal experience within his family, he is definitely coming from a very different financial background.
There are so many who cannot afford the highly priced services, and who would not qualify for special allowances in addition to the normal councilor attendance allowances. So franky there is hardship and then there is hardship, depending whether you can pay or not. And all councilors attendance allowances are posted on the relevant web sites, they make interesting reading.
frank13 apart from showing your political support for Philip Gretton Tory Cabinet member responsible for older peoples services, and being aware of him in the past having had personal experience within his family, he is definitely coming from a very different financial background. There are so many who cannot afford the highly priced services, and who would not qualify for special allowances in addition to the normal councilor attendance allowances. So franky there is hardship and then there is hardship, depending whether you can pay or not. And all councilors attendance allowances are posted on the relevant web sites, they make interesting reading. Jabbadad

12:35am Mon 12 Nov 12

Jabbadad says...

Also having watched on the Webcast the Cabinet meeting last Thursday, my feelings were that the decision had already been agreed and that those who are going to be seriously affected and who addressed the cabinet meeting so passionately were being patronised.
Also having watched on the Webcast the Cabinet meeting last Thursday, my feelings were that the decision had already been agreed and that those who are going to be seriously affected and who addressed the cabinet meeting so passionately were being patronised. Jabbadad
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree