Millions secured to help the vulnerable

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THE COUNTY council has secured more than £5 million to carry on caring for thousands of vulnerable adults this year.

Health authorities have agreed to release £6.9 million to East Sussex County Council after it threatened to withdraw care from adults who struggle to live independently. Cabinet has suggested the full council approves plans to spend £5.4 million on those deemed to have ‘substantial’ need – the group previously in danger of losing out.

A further £1.5 million could be spent on treating patients at home in the 30 days after being sent home from hospital if full council agrees to the proposals on Tuesday (February 8).

Cabinet member for adult social care councillor Bill Bentley said, “I was always confident we would come to a resolution. Sometimes the consultation process can have a negative effect, which was not intended.

“It’s obviously more challenging to provide the same care when there is less money about.”

Before the county council guaranteed outside funding from Primary Care Trusts, it was considering changing the criteria to qualify for council-funded care. Only those suffering from the most serious illnesses and in need of care within a week would have been eligible.

In October the Government promised £2 billion to adult social care across Britain over the next two years. But 67-year-old Willingdon resident Jennifer Waring, who has suffered from severe fatigue, asthma and back pain for 20 years and has to use a wheelchair, said the problem is likely to resurface when funding dries up.

Mrs Waring, who has a carer for 11 and a half hours a week to help her wash and go to the shops, said, “It’s a relief. Obviously that funding is not going to be cut immediately but in the long term, or in the not too distant future, care is going to be cut.

“They’ve got to save millions next year and I’m quite sure this issue will come up again. They’ve got to cut something but I think anything should go, like libraries, before care.”

The county council will continue its six-week consultation until February 16.