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
    opposed.

    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
    figure.”

    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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