As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Hampshire Adult Services have decided not to change their eligibility criteria to only support people with ‘critical’ needs. At a meeting with the Executive Member for Adult Services on the 27th October, a report was received that recommended ending the consultation process early due to the huge negative feedback that Hampshire County Council had received on this issue.
According to the report, concerns were expressed by respondents regarding:
- the impact on (unpaid) carers and a belief that where a customer has (unpaid) carers they would not be deemed to be in critical need and would be left to cope alone or until breaking point
- respite may be withdrawn withdrawing low cost packages to high numbers of service users may result in higher more expensive packages later
- withdrawing from preventative work may result in increased crisis work, which could have been avoided with earlier preventative input
- low level support provides preventative care and keeps people at risk on the “radar”
- the impact on quality of life (social isolation, loneliness and mental health)
- the fine line in differentiating between critical and substantial
- transition from high volume support for children to a reduced service as an adult when age is the only change
- the department may not investigate less serious abuse
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Services Councillor Patricia Banks said: “The consultation was a vital piece of work. By it’s very nature a consultation is a process that involves speaking to and listening to the views of the people whom any change in policy decision will affect.
“That is exactly what we have done, and on reflection we have decided that whilst these hard times in Adult Services require tough decisions, the advantages of moving to `critical’ care only are far outweighed by the disadvantages.”
“Politicians are often accused of acting remotely when making decisions that will affect people’s lives. In this case we have gone out and spoken directly with those who it will affect and have made our decision based on these conversations and first hand visits.”