Fringe Box



SCC Intends to Restrict Social Care Assessments

Published on: 21 Jan, 2019
Updated on: 23 Jan, 2019

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

Surrey County Council intends to only provide social care package assessments for people it legally has to because they cost too much, a budget report reveals.

Means testing special educational needs (SEN) transport provision is also being considered under the cash-strapped authority’s budget proposals.

A report to be presented to the corporate overview select committee on Friday (January 25) ahead of this month’s cabinet meeting, on January 29, also states that problems with controversial countryside parking machines resulted in a loss of income for the environment budget.

Adult social care spending in Surrey has gone up by 2.5% every year with only £4.5 million out of the target of £10.7 million savings being met in 2018/19.

The report states: “Due to the high costs associated with assessments, the service was trying to move away from assessing all users and only assessing those who legally required an assessment. The service would be working with the voluntary, community and faith sector to support this new way of working.”

Councillors will also be told savings of £24 million will need to be met by the children, family, learning and communities budget in 2019/20.

There was a £15 million overspend in 2018 and £12.1 million of this was because of the extra demand for Education Health and Social Care Plans (EHCPs).

The report says there have been discussions around funding being given to families to arrange their own SEN transport and that officers “would be watching closely” a scheme currently being considered by Hampshire County Council to means test the support.

Transport, highways and environment services are feeling “added pressure to the budget” due to having to pay a number of contract inflation costs to Kier, Suez and Skanska.

And there had been “a number of operational issues with parking machines at two car parks on the countryside estate which had led to a loss of income” as it was reported in December that the business plan for Surrey Wildlife Trust to become self-sustaining is six to eight weeks behind schedule.

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