Elderly care savings needed in Suffolk
Hayley MaceSheltered housing providers in Suffolk will next week begin a consultation with older people about the future of care services after it was announced that the county is facing massive funding cuts.Hayley Mace
Sheltered housing providers in Suffolk will next week begin a consultation with older people about the future of care services after it was announced that the county is facing massive funding cuts.
The amount of money the government gives Suffolk County Council to fund older people's services, including sheltered housing, is being reduced by 20pc in 2014, forcing the county to find ways to make savings of �4.1m.
While it is not yet clear where and how the money is going to be saved, Suffolk County Council is launching a 15-month long consultation process with the thousands of elderly people who use the services to make sure that their needs and views are taken into account.
The council does not provide the services itself; instead it uses the government grant to pay smaller providers to offer a range of services across the county at a cost of about �2.5m a year.
Next week, the thousands of elderly people who live in sheltered housing will receive letters in the post telling them how they can get in touch with their provider to have their say about the future of the service.
Colin Noble, the county council's portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: 'It is a lot of money to save and we are disappointed by the cuts after the representations we made to government.'
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He said there was a possibility that some different services would be set up, such as home visits or home repairs services, so that older people who do not need sheltered housing can have access to services which they can pay for.
As well as restructuring its sheltered housing provision, the council is hoping to improve care homes in the county by launching Private Finance Initiative (PFI) bids to pay for three new centres, including one to replace Stradbroke Court and Blyford in Lowestoft.