Cllr Janet Clowes - adult social care

Cheshire East Council is to spend an extra £10.9 million on adult social care in 2018/19 as it bids to tackle a growing demand in the borough.

The authority’s Cabinet, facing reductions in government grants, rising costs and increased demand, has backed proposals to recommission care at home, residential care and respite care.

A large slice of the proposed 4.99% Council Tax rise in 2018-19 will help to fund the extra spending.

It also voted to carry out a review of respite care provision to identify ways to improve efficiency and reduce low occupancy of block-booked beds.

There are more than 40,000 residents in Cheshire East who look after or give support to family members, friends or neighbours because of mental health issues, disability or problems due to old age.

The council currently spends £37.4m a year on accommodation with care services and a further £13m on specialised provision in other local authority areas.

Additionally, it spends about £13.5m a year on care at home services plus £13.7m on Supported Living services, where housing and support are provided separately.

Cllr Janet Clowes (pictured), cabinet member for adult social care and integration, said: “Carers have told us they want an alternative respite offer to bed-based services.

“The council is now carrying out a review and consulting with carers and other stakeholders about how the alternative respite provision should be delivered, to more effectively and efficiently provide the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

“So, as part of a review of respite provision, we will look at different models of respite support to ensure greater choice and flexibility for service users – such as short breaks and supported living, home-based services, Shared Lives support and respite in an extra-care housing setting.

“The current offer of respite care was intended to enable carers to access respite in a variety of geographical locations.

“However, there are issues with low occupancy and, as the system operates on block provision (where providers get paid a block amount of money even if the beds are not occupied) it means that some beds are going unoccupied.

“Subject to consultation, some beds are proposed to be ‘block purchased’ to be available all year round to continue to provide geographical coverage across the borough – together with additional beds purchased as and when necessary to meet demand and in the appropriate location.

“The new provision would begin in October 2018.”

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, new carers fund - adult social care

The council also bids to change how it commissions care at home for residents.

This service will be for adults with less complex care and support needs living in Cheshire East.

It is to explore options with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Cllr Liz Wardlaw, (pictured, right) cabinet member for health, said: “In Cheshire East, we face an ageing population.

“The borough needs to increase capacity and capability of care services that enable people to remain living at home longer, reduce the need for a move to a care home and provide timely and appropriate care.

“With our partners, we need to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high-quality care and that, together, we encourage care services to improve the care and support they deliver.”

Cheshire East is also set to change the way it commissions residential care for people who receive financial support for their care from the authority.

Under new proposals, providers of residential homes will be asked to sign up to a new “quality framework”.

Residents who receive financial support will be placed in care homes that meet the quality standards required, but those already in care homes will not be moved.

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