Preparing for Hampshire's ageing population
Friday, 18 January 2013
Meeting the demands of an increasingly elderly and frail population on services, making further investment in prevention and early intervention and promoting people's health and well-being are the key themes emerging from the 2013/14 budget proposals for Hampshire County Council's Adult Services.
Councillor Felicity Hindson, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, will be asked to consider the budget for delivering services for older and vulnerable people, including younger adults with disabilities, at her Decision Day on 25 January 2013.
The budget for 2013/14 includes £94.5 million to continue providing vital services such as home, day and residential care - which is 1% more (£900,000) than the budget for 2012/13 (£93.6 million). Savings will continue to be made through efficiencies that protect core 'front line' services, with limited impact on staff.
There are no changes to the County Council's eligibility criteria for social care support which continue to be set at 'substantial' and 'critical' levels. Adult Services will continue to monitor the performance and quality of services - including safeguarding vulnerable people - with a strong focus on the user and carer experience.
The County Council has already committed up to £45 million to develop more Extra-Care facilities to promote choice and independence for older people and more schemes will be supported over the next few years.
By taking early and decisive action to respond to the national deficit reduction programme, Hampshire County Council has achieved savings of £100 million over the last two years, putting the Council in a strong position to tackle future funding challenges, which are expected to be even tougher from 2015/16.
The report sets out how Adult Services will achieve further efficiencies to reduce the budget by two per cent to help meet major pressures and demands, with proposed savings of £4.868 million split between efficiencies and additional income. However, grants to voluntary sector organisations, which help people stay independent for longer, are being maintained at the same level as last year.
An ageing and increasingly frail population with more complex needs, together with changes in health services is expected to continue to place pressure on budgets, so the next two years will be used to transform Adult Services to meet these challenges. This includes developing new ways of delivering social care - such as Extra-Care schemes and telecare - to ensure that Hampshire residents continue to receive quality services at the lowest cost. At the same time, the wellbeing of the 84 per cent of older people not receiving social care services is being promoted by working with voluntary organisations, so they are better supported in their communities.
The 2013/14 budget includes a wider roll out of telecare to allow people to stay independent for longer, efficiencies in transport for vulnerable and older people, matching day care places to demand and a review of important reablement services for elderly residents discharged from hospital, to include both in-house and commissioned care.
People using services for care at home will continue to be assessed to determine how much they contribute to their care. Hampshire County Council pays for the cost of care above the maximum contribution, and all proposed charges for 2013/14 take into account a small inflation increase of 1.5%, which is well below the national figure.
There are many challenges ahead but Adult Services is adapting and transforming services to meet the increasing demands from an ageing and frail population with more complex needs.