Plans to cut home care spending in Worcestershire

Plans have been put forward to limit the amount a council pays towards the cost of supporting people's home care.

Residents whose costs exceed the amount Worcestershire County Council proposes to pay under the scheme could go to a residential or nursing home.

The council said proposals would apply to new services users, not existing ones, unless their care needs changed.

Worcestershire Coalition for Independent Living (WCIL) said it was "very worried".

Top up

A three-month consultation, starting on 1 May about the proposals, has been approved, the council said.

The proposals would mean new users whose community care package costs exceeded the amount the council proposed to contribute could have to top up to meet the cost from alternative sources, such as savings.

They could instead have to change the type or volume of care services they receive.

In another option, new users could have to access "alternative low level community support" in addition to council funded support.

The council said it was in "an unprecedented financial climate" and had to save about £80m over the next few years.

The scheme, if adopted, "would ensure that the eligible assessed care needs of each and every individual are met in full", it added.

'Quality of life'

The council said the proposals would ensure "the authority can support as many people as possible to live independently at home".

WCIL secretary Jim Smith said: "There are people around still who remember the days of geriatric wards, of big institutions where people live - no quality of life at all and no hope for the future.

"I'm sure there's no individual councillor who would see that as being a preference, but acting collectively, if we don't actually watch these things very carefully, these things happen by default."

WCIL, which is run by users, aims to "enable all people with support needs to contribute to shaping and directing the services that they need to live the life they choose".

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