Consultation ahead of social care reforms

A unanimous decision to explore proposed changes to the way adult social care is delivered across the county was made on Tuesday by Lincolnshire County Council.

Responding to a national move towards personal budgets, the County Council will launch a 90-day consultation period on September 19, where service users and staff will be asked for their views on potential changes.

The authority is promising that everyone using adult social care services via personal budgets will benefit from a greater choice of more customised support.

The proposals have already sparked comment from unions, with a Unison spokesperson claiming they are an excuse to axe services.

Up to 285 jobs could be lost in the reform process.

Graham Marsh, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Supporting People, said: “We need to urgently review how we deliver our own directly provided services, as they are becoming less cost-efficient.

“This needs to happen in a market where service users are the discerning customer, not a block-purchasing local authority.”

Tony McArdle, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire County Council, assured that the views of the staff and service users do matter.

“We offer the assurance that all views will be thoroughly considered and nothing will be done until we are clear that alternatives are in place,” said McArdle.

Swallow Lodge in Lincoln, a short break facility staffing 14 people, is reviewed along with supported living services, day care, 24-hour support and day services countywide for people with learning and physical difficulties and older people.