Care changes offer real opportunity to cut budgets

Dorothy Jarvis-Lee
Dorothy Jarvis-Lee

THE chief executive of a leading care provider has said that changes to social care funding for vulnerable adults should be embraced by local authorities.


Dorothy Jarvis Lee of ubu based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire said that councils need to reduce their long term care costs and get many more people living independently, at the heart of local communities, improving their lives and integrating into society, rather than being shut away in institutions.


“Many local authorities are concerned about the costs of care for vulnerable adults because there will be a lifetime cap of £72,000.  This comes into effect on 2016 but from next year councils have to start assessing the most complex cases of which there are 400,000 nationally,” she said.


“This is an opportunity to get our many vulnerable adults who are in long term hospitals out and into their local communities.  Their lives will be the better for it and they will be less of a financial drain on society.


“ubu, has developed uStep which gives vulnerable adults the chance to build independent lives integrated in society.  Over a period of time we have seen the most complex cases improve their lives and reduce their dependency on state funded care.


“One particular example of a gentleman who had been in isolation for years and fed through a hole in the wall, was enabled to live in his own apartment with access to 24 hour support should he need it. He made a life with friends of his choosing, and goals of his own. His care significantly reduced becoming less of a drain on society.”


Mrs. Jarvis Lee admitted there would be initial costs because of the care that the 2,500 people currently in long term hospital need.  At £6,000 per person, per week, that is unsustainable and one reason why Care Minister, Norman Lamb, said he wanted them living in more appropriate settings.


“Long term institutional care is both detrimental to the health of the patient, the wealth of the nation and quite clearly needs changing.  Local authorities could use the planned changes as a way of taking the initiative and tackling the care and the cost more effectively,” she added.



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