Norfolk CC : Care Charge Hike Muted : Another Round Of Increases Leading To Closures?

**Care charge hike to save £3m will hit people with learning disabilities, say Norfolk families.

Families of people with learning disabilities have blasted a cost-cutting proposal which would save council bosses £3m - by charging thousands of people more for their care.**

**_Norfolk County Council, has mooted changes to its charging policy for adult social care in next year’s budget.

If approved, it would see changes to how people are charged for non-residential care, such as day services.

And families of people with learning disabilities who could be affected say that is not fair.

The proposal will change the ‘minimum income guarantee’ the council uses to assess how much people aged 18 to 64 pay for care.

At the moment, the council uses a rate of £189 a week for everyone, but wants to change that to £123.45 for those aged 18 to 24 and £151.45 a week for those aged 25 to 64.

Proposals would also see a benefit - the enhanced element of personal independence payments (PIP) - taken into account when assessing care.

The combined effects could lead to about 1,000 people having to pay more for their care and about 1,400 people could have to start paying for care for the first time.

The council needs to save £79m over the next three years and figure out how to plug a further £46m gap. But families of people who have learning disabilities say they will be unfairly affected by charging policy changes.

Judith Taylor, of Mill Street in Buxton, said the proposals contravene the care act and could see her 28-year-old son losing out on £67 a week.

Mrs Taylor, whose son suffers from Down’s syndrome, said: “My son’s current payments allow him to live a life outside of the home - he pays to work at Thornage Hall and takes part in other things that mean he can have a social life. Losing out would have a devastating impact on his life.”

Bill Borrett, chairman of the council’s adult social care committee, said the savings were being proposed in a “challenging financial environment”.

He said: “The committee appreciates that everyone’s financial circumstances are different and that any change can be unsettling, so the council will be supporting people on a one-to-one basis.

“There are more opportunities than ever before for people with disabilities to live independently thanks to changes in technology and support. Our proposal to invest £1m to help more people find the jobs and training they want is designed to help them achieve those aspirations.”

The consultation closed on Sunday, December 23._**

Since the very first back in 2004.

Increase the price … demand drops off … then closure due to lack of use.

… and so it continues … unabated !

Care prices per hour increased at S’s college follow on day service. Funding did not keep up, so everyone’s hours were cut. Hence the mess we are in now with organising care before and after, so I can still work. S’s has to pay for more and higher rates than he ever did and his own money situation is very tight these days.


The hike in the minimum wage announced in the Budget doesn’t help the situation at all … as spelt out at the time :

**_If DPs are NOT increased , and the recipient cannot afford to buy in additional care , a clear case of RATIONING BY STEALTH … me thinks.

For far too many , their income is fixed … essential expenditure , heat and housing costs , are rising … that choice of eat / heat / roof is becoming critical as more are facing that daily choice._**

… and thanks to Melly for pointing that out on the thread !

It was the introduction of the Living wage and workplace pensions and funding not reflecting these that caused the cut in hours last time. When parents appealed, they were told they could have less hours of the (quality) service of their and their YP’s choice or more hours of a cheaper (cr*p) service. Here we go again.

Vicious circle.

Government cutting back monies to LAs … LAs seek to raise more monies through Council Tax increases … those at the bottom hit the hardest by that regressive tax … now less monies to spend on everyday essentials includng care.

End result ?

More pressure and hardship on family / kinship carers.

Don’t forget … earlier this year … Government announcement to encourage all family / kinship carers to juggle work with caring … supported by both CUK and The Carers Trust.

( … and for half the carer army who cannot juggle work with caring … around 4 million ? )

The Government speaks , they applaud … perhaps thinking before applauding … occasionly ?

Sheer madness !!!

Norfolk CC in the frame … again ?

**Norfolk council rebuked over special needs provision.

Ombudsman has upheld 11 complaints against county council in two years.**


The local government ombudsman has reprimanded a local authority over its provision for children with special educational needs after upholding 11 complaints against the council over the last two years.

The ombudsman’s office said the number of complaints upheld against Norfolk county council was one of the highest in England, particularly given the relatively small population.

The picture is replicated in many areas of the country, however, with many parents saying they have to fight to secure the SEN provision to which their children are entitled as cash-strapped local authorities struggle to meet growing demand for support.

In the two most recent cases, which were the subject of separate investigations, the ombudsman, Michael King, censured Norfolk for leaving two boys “without the vital support and provision they needed at crucial times of their education”.

In the first case, a mother complained that the council failed to provide her son with suitable education provision for nearly two academic years. It also took 46 weeks – twice the statutory timescale - to complete his education, health and care (EHC) plan, which sets out a child’s legal requirements to additional support.

In the second case, the ombudsman said the council had failed to provide a primary school-aged boy with suitable education provision after he was excluded, causing him to miss out on full-time education for eight months.

Announcing his judgments in favour of both parents, the ombudsman pointed out that he had upheld nine similar complaints in Norfolk.

“In both [of the latest] cases these children were without the vital support and provision they needed at crucial times of their education,” the ombudsman said. “We welcome the proactive steps the council is now taking to improve its provision and oversight of services for children with SEN, and hope this will ensure children will get the support they need in future.”

The local government and social care ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints about local public services. Across 200 investigations into parents’ complaints, the ombudsman has found in favour of parents in 80% of cases.

King said recently: “While our investigations can only provide part of the picture of how the SEN system is functioning – that picture is causing concern. The reality is that some families are suffering a disproportionate burden in having to battle for the support their children are entitled to.”

Following the two most recent cases affecting Norfolk, the council agreed to a number of service reviews and improvements, including examining other ways of providing alternative education for children out of school and completing an audit of children missing from education for whom it has a duty to provide education.

It has also agreed to review its working processes to ensure EHC plans are produced within statutory timescales and to improve the way it monitors missing professional advice it requires in order to complete the plans.

Strike 2 !

One more and yer out , squire !