14 December 2010

Maintaining the level of care for adults in the county while at the same time finding necessary savings is the principle underpinning Northamptonshire County Council’s budget proposals for adult social care.

The draft budget includes a £20m investment over two years to meet the continuing demographic pressures caused by the increasing numbers of older people in the county and protect some of most vulnerable residents.

The proposals also see savings of around £12.5m. These savings are unavoidable as the council faces up to unprecedented financial challenges and a reduction in funding from government.

This includes savings in those areas where services can be delivered differently and customers can be encouraged to help themselves. This includes changing the way people with social care needs are assessed to simplify the process by using more self-assessments and telephone interviews.

The budget proposals also see a continuing focus on personalisation, enabling older people and people with disabilities to stay living in their own homes, in the local communities they are familiar with and choose alternative support rather than simply relying on residential or traditional day care.

The draft budget also includes a proposal of a 0% inflation uplift other than where there is an contractual requirement. This includes the Expected to Pay Rate which following two years of investment above inflation is now at the same level as neighbouring counties.

Councillor Robin Brown, cabinet member for health and adult social services said: “Adult social care represents the biggest part of the council’s spending and so it is inevitable that this area of the council will be affected if we are to achieve the savings that simply must be made.

“We are committed to maintaining the current level of care for our most vulnerable adults living in Northamptonshire. This includes residential care, domiciliary care, personal budgets and support to live at home and this draft budget sees an investment of £20m over two years to help meet the pressures caused by the county’s rapidly increasing older population.

“However, our budget proposals also include substantial reductions in funding to areas of adult social care where people are able to take more control and help themselves, rather than simply relying on the council.

“We are having to make some very tough choices and we are not doing this lightly, but the fact remains that we must find savings and to achieve this, we must look at everything we do.”