Committee pushes for key adult social care decision deferral

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Committee pushes for key adult social care decision deferral

Proposals which could mean major changes to adult social care in West Sussex should be deferred, said a Committee on Tuesday (March 1).

The Adults’ Services Select Committee reviewed the consultation process and findings for the proposals, which could mean West Sussex County Council no longer provides for moderate level adult social care needs – focussing on substantial and critical level needs only.

Chairman Irene Richards said: “There is clearly a great strength of feeling around these proposals. While we understand the County Council has to find substantial savings, the Committee had many concerns around these proposals and the effects on social care users both now and in the future.

“As such, we agreed to recommend to the Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services that the proposed decision to change the eligibility criteria is delayed until work to commission prevention and wellbeing services is completed and properly funded.”

The Committee also reviewed the outcomes from the public consultation on the future of day services, looking at day activities and services in West Sussex and how they should look in the future.

Irene said: “We had a number of areas we picked up on to refer to the Cabinet Member to take into account when taking his decision. These were the voluntary sector’s ability to pick up and cope with the additional work the proposals would mean for them, the issue of transport, and the need to ensure that every person is looked at individually to ensure they receive day services which are appropriate to them and their age group.”

An update on the development of prevention and wellbeing services and the programme for implementation was also discussed by the Committee.

“The Committee had a number of concerns about this programme of work,” added Irene. “In particular around the insufficient representation and involvement of the voluntary sector in this work, whether the prevention and wellbeing services will be sufficiently community based and whether services will be ready in time particularly as they are vital to the success of the proposals on day activities and proposed changes to adult social care.”

All recommendations will now go to the Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services Peter Catchpole for his consideration.

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