With its budget under pressure Brent Council is proposing £18m in 'savings' (which are often actually cuts) and raising Council Tax by 2.99%:
The key features of the 2023/24 budget are:
· A Council Tax increase of 2.99% (consisting of a 1.99% general increase plus 1% for the Adult Social Care Precept), making a Band D Council Tax of £1,461.96 (for the Brent element). The GLA precept is unknown at this stage and is subject to their own decision making and consultation processes.
· New budget savings proposals of £18m to be delivered in 2023/24
Adult and Social Care -£4.3m
Children & Young People -£2.4m
Communities and Regeneration -£0.6m
Residents' Services -£4.2m
Finance & Resources -£1.8m
I have embedded fuller details below and as you read it you will see that it is likely that extensive job losses are likely to be involved, and many of those low paid workers. ethnic minority and women.
Adult Social Care
Adult social care costs are rising across all councils but it is likely that some of the justifications made for the cuts by Brent Council, under a general argument that they will increase the independence of recipients, will be challenged. There will be no general public consultation on the changes because of the 'personalised aspects; of the proposal. This limits the opportunity to campaign and narrows implentation to individual negotiations with recipients, family and advocate. The final paragraph on key risks is important.
Extract from Report
There is some evidence that Brent provides more homecare hours in community care packages than other London boroughs –potentially around 1 hour per week extra per client over the age of 75 than expected.
There are a number of interventions that need to be delivered both in response to the pandemic and because they are good practice, which should reduce the overall levels of homecare. These include:
Double handed care reviews – partly as a result of the pandemic, and the reduced access to care homes for discharge we have seen a significant increase in double handed care packages (where 2 carers are needed to carry out care). Reducingdouble handed care packages, means fewer people entering someone’s home, better use of community equipment and, therefore, more independence and less intrusive care.
Reablement – the new and redesigned dedicated reablement service goes live inFebruary 2023. The new service has been designed after a full review and brings a range of new features, which have been successful in other Local Authorities,therefore, we expect to see a significant increase in the number of people supported to maximise independence and so require lower or no care packages.
High and Low costing care Packages – the purpose of social care is to assist people to live as independent a life as is possible outside the formal care system. For these cohort of service users focused reviews will be undertaken with a stronger attention on Personalisation and promoting Personal Budgets/ Personal Assistants as a means of receiving their services. For very low costing support packagers the aim will be to Promoting Independence. Looking at housing adjustment / equipment’s, telecare and digital solutions to support individual’s so that they will no longer require funded support.
How would this affect users of this service?
We carry out reviews at the end of the reablement process and on an annual basis. We will ensure that these reviews are strength bases reviews and with a focus on independence. This will also be true of double handed calls because although the person will not be full independent with activities of daily living, they may only require a single carer, which should be seen as a positive as it will reduce the number of carers and should improve the relationships.
The nature of this proposal means it will be part of all reviews on an ongoing basis. Individual reviews will be done with the person who receives the care, their family or advocates and the care agency. The only specific milestone is the implementation of the new reablement service in February 2023.
Service users and families will be consulted on a case by case basis – there will not be a wider consultation given the personalised aspect of this proposal.
Key risks and mitigations
Reducing packages becomes harder to achieve in practice than in principle, because of a reliance on the care provided – social workers use their experience and understanding of the Care Act to promote a strength based approached to care, to mitigate these issues.
Outline of the proposals are below and fuller details are available in a 200 page document available HERE.
Click bottom right for full page.