Major cuts loom for adult social care services

Eastbourne Foyer SUS-151028-142554001
Eastbourne Foyer SUS-151028-142554001

Homes for vulnerable people and those with learning disabilities and mental health issues look set to close across Eastbourne and Hailsham as part of a major cost cutting measure to try and save millions of pounds.

A mother and baby unit in Eastbourne, the Foyer, the YMCA Residential Centre for young people in Vicarage Road, Cranbrook in Pembury Road for people with dementia and learning disabilities, Livability in Martello Road and people with mental health issues living in supported housing in Hyde Gardens are all at risk in a consultation paper put forward by East Sussex County Council, which says it will have £40 million less to spend on adult social care services by March 2019.

Also facing having its funding removed completely or dramatically reduced is a homeless hostel in St Aubyn’s Road, accommodation for young people at risk, a refuge for women fleeing domestic violence in the district, some Age Concern and Age UK services, and mental health support service Sussex Oakleaf.

In Hailsham, Bentley Grange, a care home for the elderly, the Hailsham Foyer and Grove House for young people at risk and a refuge in the area for women fleeing domestic abuse are all also at risk.

Funding also looks set to be cut to Age Concern’s Home from Hospital scheme, which offers short term discharge support covering Hailsham, and the Age UK East Sussex transport home from the DGH and Conquest Hospital project

The eight week consultation in to the budget cuts runs until December but county council officials are warning some services will be cut, some may change and others will end.

David Elkin, the county council’s deputy leader, said, “Over the next four years there will be much less money for services in East Sussex, even though demand for them is rising.

“This is mainly because funding from central Government is shrinking.

“It means making difficult decisions about which adult social care services we continue to invest in.

“We know many people who use adult social care services will be affected by the savings we need to make.

“It will be a difficult time for people who use services, their carers and family, everyone working in the department and all our partner organisations, providers and the voluntary sector.

“We want people’s views on how we are proposing to make the savings.”

The eight week consultation runs until Friday December 18.

People can complete an online survey, send or email their comments to the county council or go to one of the consultation drop-in events planned

Drop in sessions with more information will be held on November 13 11am-1pm at Eastbourne Town Hall and in Wealden at the Uckfield Civic Centre on November 11.

David Elkin said, “Everything people tell us in surveys, letters, emails and conversations will be shared with the cabinet committee. We will provide a detailed summary of the consultation results before a decision is made.

After that, we will share the decision and work closely to ensure any changes to services are managed as sensitively as possible.”

The committee will consider the savings in January 2016.

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