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Adult social care costs are rocketing in Cheshire East with some needs so complex it can cost about £9,000 a week for one person, councillors were told.

Jill Broomhall, director of adults and social care, said the average age of people being assessed for care need in the borough was 89.

But she told the adults and health committee at Sandbach: “We are also seeing a number of people in their 50s and early 60s with dementia as well… and the level of that dementia is catastrophic on their families.”

Cheshire East is forecasting a £5 million overspend at the end of this financial year on its adult social care budget.

This is despite the service achieving most of the savings it had hoped.

Among the reasons for the predicted overspend are rising demand, more complex cases and inflation, which has resulted in higher than predicted wage rises and soaring charges from some care providers.

Mrs Broomhall said: “We had a chap last week who requires four members of staff to be with him for certain periods of the day and the cost of those packages of care … are upwards of £8,000 and £9,000 per week.

“If there is only one provider saying, I will meet their needs, then there’s no competition to try to force down the costs.”

She said in a case where there is just one provider, even if the cost is £9,000 a week “we are then in a position that we have to, by law, provide that care”.

Mrs Broomhall said people questioned how a care package could be so expensive.

But she said some individuals had challenging behaviour, needed medical and social care intervention and can become aggressive and violent.

“It can become quite dangerous, because when these people are acutely unwell their level of behaviour is risky for some people,” she said.

Helen Charlesworth-May, executive director of adults, health and integration, said any increase in charges by care providers put a huge strain on the council’s finances.

She said there had been a request for a fee increase from one provider of £50 a week.

“That doesn’t sound a lot but… if everybody went up by £50 a week – everybody – that would be a £17.5m annual increase in our budget which equates to a 7.5% increase in council tax,” she said.

Cheshire East is currently consulting on its budget proposals for 2024/25, which includes making savings in all services, including adults.

The consultation closes on Sunday, January 28, and can be found on the council’s website at

(Story by Belinda Ryan, local democracy reporter)

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