West Sussex health and social care budgets discussed

THE budget for health and social care is on the agenda in an upcoming West Sussex County Council meeting.

The council’s draft budget for 2014–2015 will be reviewed by the health and adult social care select committee on January 22.

At the meeting, committee members will focus on the plans relating to health, adult social care and public health.

A council spokesman, said this comes against a backdrop of significant demographic pressures – with population growth and increasing life expectancy.

The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise by more than 30,000 between 2011 and 2021, of which nearly 8,000 will be older than 85. There will also be significant changes through the government’s drive for integration between health and social care as well as a range of new duties for local authorities, through the Care Bill. This includes a cap on the contributions people will pay towards the cost of their eligible social care and a national minimum eligibility threshold.

The committee will also be reviewing savings plans for health, adult social care and public health for 2014-15 and 2015-16 and the committee’s comments will be fed to the next meeting of the council’s cabinet, which is on January 28.

Chairman Margaret Whitehead said: “We are clearly living through a period of unprecedented change, with the county council facing significant financial constraints.

“It is therefore really important that we examine the assumptions underlying the draft budget and savings plans, to check they are in the best interests of the county’s residents.”

During the meeting, the committee will also review adult social care services, focusing on choice and control and the personalisation of budgets; how social isolation is being addressed; and an update on what advocacy services are provided for people with adult social care needs.

It will also look at plans for the future commissioning of the Care and Support at Home Service.

The meeting will be held at County Hall in Chichester, from 10.30am, and the public are welcome to attend.