Medway Council, Monday, 12 December 2011, starts consulting with members of the public on the Adult Social Care services it provides for residents.

The council is keen to hear the views of service users, their carers and families, staff, and other residents and interested parties across Medway. Three consultations will take place and will each run until 9 February 2012. One will seek views on proposals to sell Nelson Court residential home, in Chatham, and to outsource care at Robert Bean Lodge, in Rochester, and Platters Farm Lodge, in Rainham, to independent providers, whilst retaining ownership of these two buildings.

The proposals, if they go ahead, would mean residents in all three homes would still get the same quality of services they already get, but the council would pay independent providers for them. The second consultation is on a proposal to close the Balfour Day Centre, in Rochester, following a significant drop in the number of people using the facility as more Adult Social Care service users opt for personalised budgets. These personalised budgets give users the freedom to choose how they spend the money available for them on the kind of activities and services they need and want.

In addition to this, the council is holding a third consultation on proposals to make contributions for adult social care services fairer for all. This proposal aims to ensure that all who benefit from social care services support make a fair contribution to their care regardless of the type of support they receive.

Currently, charges for social services are based on the type of social care services delivered. For example, Medway Council currently collects contributions for residential, respite and home care services, but does not currently charge for day care or transport.
This means that, due to the nature of the support they receive, some service users do not pay. It is proposed that all services will now be means tested and users will make a contribution if they have savings of above £23,500.

Cllr David Brake, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, said: “We aim to consult on all these proposals for changes to Adult Social Care and I would urge all service users, their carers and families, staff and other interested parties to please take an active part in this consultation. “I want to ensure that everyone’s views are heard as these will help the Council’s Cabinet form their decision on these proposals following the consultation next year.”

For more details on all three consultations and to take part please go online at http://www.medway.gov.uk/adultssocialcare or call 333322

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