Directors call for cuts to be realistic

Social care leaders have warned the government against using the
efficiency review to press for unrealistic savings from adult
services through discredited methods.

With the first phase of the Department of Health’s programme
examining the scope for adult care efficiencies drawing to a close,
the Association of Directors of Social Services said councils
should not be asked the impossible.

The DoH wants to cut £684m from adult care – equivalent to
2.5 per cent of the sector’s national budget. But former ADSS
president Andrew Cozens, whose council has been visited by a DoH
efficiency team, said this was not realistic.

Following last year’s Gershon efficiency review, councils must
find savings of 2.5 per cent, but are not bound to share this
equally across all services. But there are fears that the DoH will
urge councils to regionalise care procurement, which the ADSS has

ADSS president Tony Hunter said: “Regional procurement, which in
practice could mean large block contracts, flies in the face of DoH
objectives around a thriving, broadly based care market offering
choice and, in particular, direct payments.

“We are determined that whatever ideas are put forward must be
deliverable and realistic and not simply chasing a pre-defined

The comments came as the DoH cut the number of visits to
councils in the first phase of the review from 58 to 31 claiming it
had already gathered the information it needed.


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