Barbara has welcomed a High Court judgement that a council’s plan for major changes to social care provision was unlawful. Birmingham City Council had proposed to limit eligibility to social care provision solely to those residents with “critical” care needs – which includes people with life-threatening conditions. The changes were part of a package by Birmingham City Council to cut £51 million from its budget in 2011/12 rising to £118 million in 2012/13. The cuts to social care would have seen 10,000 people having their care package downgraded and 4,100 people would have lost their care package altogether.
By contrast, Salford City Council is now one of only 22 councils who still fund care for people with “moderate” needs as well as those with “substantial” or “critical” needs. Another 116 councils only fund care for people with substantial or critical needs. Birmingham City Council, which is run by a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, would have been one of six councils who wanted to limit social care solely to those with critical care needs.
Barbara, who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care, said:
“I was very pleased to see that, even in these tough times, Salford City Council kept its services to people with moderate needs as well as those with substantial and critical needs. Salford is now one of only 15% of councils providing services across this range of needs.
“I am also pleased that the High Court judgement has ruled it unlawful to make the type of severe cuts to social care provision that Birmingham Council were proposing without considering the impact of the service cuts on people with disabilities or who are ill or frail.
“Salford City Council had severe front-loaded cuts in its budget from Government, so if Salford can maintain higher levels of social care provision then other councils should be able to do so too. I also call on the Government to clarify minimum standards of provision in social care so that we don’t end up with a postcode lottery of provision across the country.”