New £1.1m savings plan will hit disabled

Bromsgrove Advertiser: New £1.1m savings plan will hit disabled New £1.1m savings plan will hit disabled

PEOPLE in private care homes across Worcestershire will be stopped from having trips to council-run day care centres under plans to save £1.1 million.

Under new changes disabled residents will be offered a number of activities alongside the general public such as swimming or trips to the gym.

Seven new drop-in centres will be created across Worcestershire as well as four specialist centres, with one in Bromsgrove, to offer traditional day care activities.

Funding will be reduced to existing day care centres in anticipation of less people coming through the doors.

It is unknown yet if any buildings will be closed.

Sam Waltho, from Worcestershire LINk, a body which helps care home residents, said: “The county council has some very caring officers and councillors who are under tremendous pressure to balance the books.

“But implementing these changes as they stand will only add to future problems, which for some very vulnerable people could end in tragic circumstances – nobody wants that.”

The budget for day care facilities for disabled people is £4.2 million a year, but under the change £1.1 million will be slashed from it.

Also, council chiefs say an existing “anomaly”, where private care home residents routinely access council day care facilities, will be stopped.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, leader of the county council, said: “I know how difficult this is for some carers and disabled people, who see these as unwelcome changes.

“I do understand their concerns, but the fact is many councils moved to this way of operating 10 years ago.”

The changes, approved at a meeting last week, are expected to come into force within the next 18 months.

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