County Council to discuss impact of social care changes

United in protest Don't Cut Us Out Campaigners outside County Hall last year - Picture by Louise Adams
United in protest Don't Cut Us Out Campaigners outside County Hall last year - Picture by Louise Adams

The impact of changes made to the criteria for receiving adult social care will be examined during a meeting of West Sussex County Council’s Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee next month.

The debate, which will be webcast, will be an opportunity to discuss a report by the West Sussex Local Involvement Network reviewing the County Council’s decision to cease providing funded social care to adults with moderate care needs.

The committee will be reviewing how people who had their social care need reassessed were affected by the changes. It will also assess whether the range of services put in place by the County Council to support people no longer receiving funded social care meets local need.

West Sussex County Council decided to provide funded social care only to those with substantial and critical care needs from April 2011, which brought it into line with most local authorities, because of severe financial constraints.

Committee chairman Margaret Whitehead said: “Many concerns were raised when changes to the eligibility threshold for adult social care were introduced by the County Council, so it is important for the Committee to take stock and understand how people have been affected.

“Local Involvement Network (LINk) is the consumer voice for health and social care, and its report should help us to monitor the full impact of these changes, and to identify any issues or concerns that need to be addressed.

“LINk has made a number of recommendations, particularly with regard to simple, low cost and practical services and ensuring that universally available wellbeing services reach people with moderate care needs.

“The Committee will consider whether or not it supports these recommendations – and may want to identify other areas for attention.”

The meeting will be held on Wednesday October 3 at County Hall from 10.30am.