Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire adult care services face sell-off

About a 1,000 elderly and disabled adults in Lincolnshire are to be asked if their care services should closed or be privatised.

The county council has confirmed it is looking at decommissoning two respite care centres, 13 day centres and supported living accommodation.

It said changes to care funding, which gave money directly to users, meant far fewer people used its direct services.

About 285 jobs within the council would also be lost.

The personal budget system, which has people assessed by the authority but then given money to choose their own care, has led to a shift away from traditional care, officials said.

Home protests

The council has an annual care budget of about £140m for about 23,000 adults and three quarters of that is already spent in the private or voluntary sectors.

Councillor Graham Marsh, who is responsible for adult social care, said: "It came as a raised eyebrow, rather than a shock, at the speed at which they are leaving the traditional services.

"And what they are saying is quite simple, 'Thank you for the money, I know what I need that will best suit my needs to keep me independent and give me a better quality of life'.

"So we are now paying for block contracts for a lot of services that people have said quite clearly' 'We don't want those now'."

He also emphasised that no service would be closed before an alternative was available.

Earlier this year plans to close eight council-run care homes were approved despite opposition from some residents and their families.

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