Sussex

Call for social care change delay in West Sussex

Elderly man being helped to his door
Image caption The council said the changes would bring the local authority in line with 75% of councils in England

West Sussex County Council's (WSCC) decision to cut social care for thousands of residents should be delayed, a select committee has said.

The council plans to stop providing social care to adults with moderate needs in order to focus on those with substantial or critical needs.

It said more emphasis was being placed on preventative measures.

But a select committee said the changes should be delayed until these services were commissioned and properly funded.

WSCC, a Conservative-controlled authority, has said it has to make £75m of savings because of a reduction in government grants over the next three years.

Serious concerns

The proposed change would save about £2.2m in 2011-12 and about £4.3m the following year, the council said.

The council said the changes would bring the local authority in line with 75% of councils in England.

But charities and the public sector union, Unison, have said they have serious concerns about the impact of withdrawing support from vulnerable people.

About 4,500 residents currently receive support for moderate levels of social care need.

The adults' services select committee met at County Hall in Chichester to discuss the plans on Tuesday.

A final decision will be made later this month.

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