Charities fear elderly and vulnerable people could be heading for crisis point if vital funding is cut (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Charities fear elderly and vulnerable people could be heading for crisis point if vital funding is cut
THOUSANDS of elderly and vulnerable people in North Yorkshire could be heading towards a crisis point if vital adult social care funding is cut, local charities have warned.
North Yorkshire County Council will next week open a consultation in Hambleton into changes to the care policies, with proposals to stop free care support for those whose needs are assessed as moderate and introducing means-testing for services.
The Conservative-led authority says it is being forced to make cuts of £92m by March 2015 and a further £66m between 2015 and 2019.
Age UK in Northallerton is holding a coffee morning to help elderly and vulnerable people fill in the consultation forms.
Paul Fisher, of Age UK, said: “It is important that as many people affected by this as possible take part in the consultation so we know what we will be dealing with.
“But if funding is cut for all those deemed as having moderate needs it will not be long before they slide into the substantial need category – it only takes a trip or a fall.”
He added: “It is a crisis – and we will only know the full extent of it after the consultation when we see how people will be affected.”
People with moderate needs include those requiring support with two or three domestic tasks – thought to affect about 9,000 elderly residents and those with disabilities.
Only those judged to have substantial needs, including those at risk of suffering abuse or neglect, would receive social care funding.
County council executive member Clare Wood said: “The changes upon which we want to consult the public are things which in an ideal world we would prefer not to have to make.
“But very significant financial savings are required of North Yorkshire County Council as the Government tackles the economic deficit.
“Having said that, we are absolutely committed to the maintenance of the very best adult social care that we can fund.”
Two public consultation events will be held at the Allerton Court Hotel, Darlington Road, Northallerton, between 1pm and 3pm, and 6pm and 8pm, on Monday, October 7.
Places can be booked online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/socialcareconsultation, by calling 08458-727374, Minicom 0845-603-6391, or emailing email@example.com
The Age UK coffee morning will be held on Thursday, October 3 from 10.30am until 12.30pm at 33 High Street, Northallerton.
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