'We have to do things differently so that we can meet people's needs cost-effectively'

East Lothian Council’s Cabinet approved proposals today (13 March 2018) to introduce charges for certain social care services. These new charges are being introduced alongside increases to existing charges  as part of budget setting for 2018 /19.

The council and East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership have been developing the proposals over recent months as part of consultation on the East Lothian Council budget for April 2018 to March 2019 in response to the budget challenges the council is facing.

Adult social care, delivered by the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP), has to deal with a significant budget deficit and make savings of £2.978 million over three years. This means the Council and ELHSCP have to consider how they can:

  • reduce costs
  • increase income streams
  • do more with less
  • change the way in which they currently deliver local services.

These changes to current social care charges and the introduction of new charges will come into effect in April 2018.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Spokesperson Councillor Fiona O’Donnell says:

‘East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership is facing a very difficult period financially. The continuing pressure on public funding in Scotland and in the UK means that our resources become more and more stretched every year. At the same time, we have a rapidly growing population of people who need social care support.

‘This means doing things differently so that we can meet people’s needs cost-effectively. We do not have the option of doing nothing – managing our resources extremely carefully is the only way that we will be able to continue supporting the growing number of service-users and carers in the longer term.’

She added that ELHSCP had already held three information meetings with carers, service-users and other stakeholders as well as an online consultation that was open to everyone. A further information meeting on charging for adult social care services is being held on 29th March 2018 from 10.30am to 12 noon for service-users, carers and other stakeholders.

Published: Tuesday, 13th March 2018