Restrictions blamed on cost pressures

Two London councils have become the latest to propose tightening their adult social care eligibility criteria, in response to cost pressures.

Lambeth Council is consulting on plans to limit social care services to those assessed as “critical” only, and Redbridge is proposing to only provide for those having a critical or “greater substantial” need.

Both councils currently provide for people assessed as critical or substantial.

Donatus Anyanwu, cabinet member for adult social services in Lambeth, said spending for adult care was to rise by £1.9m in 2007-8, but added: “This large increase is still not enough to cover the huge rises in costs associated with adult social care that are hitting councils across the country.”

Redbridge is hoping the changes will help tackle a £13m council-wide shortfall for its 2007-8 budget.

A campaign group set up to oppose the Lambeth cuts, Lambeth SOS, estimates that up to 700 vulnerable adults in the borough could lose services and many more could be hit by associated plans to review the charging regime for non-residential service users.

Councils across England, including Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Hampshire and Cornwall, have unveiled plans to tighten eligibility criteria in recent months, though in Hampshire these were rejected.

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