Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blasted from the past

Almost exactly a year since I last posted here - doesn't time fly when people aren't enjoying themselves.  So here's a small leak for you to mop up (the last time we noticed something like this, the web page vanished very quickly.)

I felt compelled to comment on Lancashire County Council's latest round of cuts -
   20% cuts to physical disability services
   15% cuts to learning disability services
   7% cuts to elderly persons services
and the Labour led council are so ashamed (even though they've been forced into it by the governments cutbacks) that they aren't even announcing it publicly.

We've only found out because they are legally obliged to 'consult' service users.  So they've quietly slipped out a web survey deep in their website with these details with no publicity, hoping no one would notice.

Here's the website link

below is my own personal commentary with selected quotes.

Changes to adult social care services questionnaire ...”
supposedly a consultation on how LCC intends to axe care from adult social services in 2015.

“….The county council spends over 40% of its budget on adult social care. We have already had to make very difficult decisions about changes to social care services. In 2010 we raised the social care eligibility criteria, which has meant fewer people receive our services. We also increased the charges for services...”
and don't we, as service users, know it...

As well as a reduced budget there is increasing demand on adult social care services because of changes to the population structure due to increased life expectancy...”
so the response seems to be, more demand, less service ...

We don't propose to change the support we offer to carers. However, some carers may find that after the person they are caring for is reassessed the service user may receive less support from us...”
so we won't cut what we already don't give you, but we will expect you to do more care for free...

Work has already been done to reduce the learning disability service budget by changing the supported living service we provide for people with a learning disability.”
so we've actually already decided to cut services for people with learning disabilities and we're only asking you turkeys to vote for Christmas because we have to by law...

We propose to:
• reduce the physical disability service budget by 20%;
• reduce the learning disability service budget by 15%; and
• reduce the older people service budget by 7%.”
this is what we mean by consultation – we tell you what we're going to cut and by how much – we don't give reasons, we don't give arguments, we don't actually give much care any more either ...

People assessed for social care services after April 2015 will receive less support from us than at the present time. People already using our services will be reassessed before the end of March 2016 to see if and how their support arrangements might need to change. For many people this will lead to a reduction in their personal budget, but it will depend on the outcome of the reassessment.”
your service will be cut and this is how and when we'll do it... Tough.

The whole tone of this document is not one of consultation.  'We'd like to consult you, but before we do, this is what we've decided to do anyway.'  The words in quotation marks are taken, out of context, from LCCs questionairre. This isn't fair, but it isn't as unfair as the cuts that are proposed.