£1.4m taken out of social care “does not feel like a cut,” insists councillor responsible

A Southwark cabinet member has denied that a £1.4m cut to people’s care packages will have a negative impact.

At a health and social care scrutiny commission meeting on January 21, Councillor David Noakes questioned Cllr Jasmine Ali, cabinet member for children, schools and adult care, on how a cut of that size could not have a negative impact.

He said: “On the review of care packages, which is predicted to make savings of £1.4 million, the comment that slightly worries me on the supporting paper is that it says ‘no negative impact identified at this stage’.

“If we’re taking £1.4 million out from people’s care packages then I find it hard to believe that as we continue to make efficiency savings that somehow doesn’t have a negative impact on the client base.

“I would welcome your comments on that.”

Councillor Ali said “reablement” teams made up of support staff who help elderly people get more independent would reduce the pull on the budget.

She said: “We’ve come in on budget and a part of that was the reablement work, at least we can show that we have not binned quality, the reablement work is about combining quality and giving people an opportunity to work towards independence, and that also reduces the pull on the budget.

“£1.4 million sounds a lot, but when you are looking at the care package budget, that’s £84 million – that’s a massive figure.

“It does not feel you will be completely altering people’s lives with that, it does not feel like a cut.”

The draft budget is set to go to council assembly in February.

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