Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Here comes the axe

The full Council meets tomorrow, 20th February, to agree the forthcoming year's budget. The budget for short breaks (respite care) is in line for a thirty precent cut:

Care provision for children with disabilities and their families.
This consists of a number of strands across the service. It includes reducing the current budget for Short Breaks by 30%. Partly this is to do with budget currently unallocated, but it will also include a review of commissioning of short breaks provision for disabled children (“Aiming High”) and respite care (with an expectation of savings of 5%), plus the net saving additional to current MTFS Project target relating to the eastern area contracted service for respite care. We will also review and recommission residential respite provision in Children’s Resource Centres and other placements to reduce their unit costs of care for disabled children and young people. The aim will be to achieve closer integration, increased flexibility, more even county coverage and greater flexibility. It will also consider preventative support to families.
p149 here.

Just last week Mencap released an update to its national ten year campaign 'Breaking Point' about short breaks provision. It said:

Family carers reported huge difficulty in receiving the short breaks that they need and the devastating impact that this can have on a family:

8 out of 10 said they do not have enough short breaks.
9 out of 10 felt stressed due to not getting enough short breaks.
3 out of 10 have never had a short break.
4 out of 10 said they have experienced cuts to short breaks in the past 3 years.
4 out of 10 felt their short breaks services have got worse in the past 3 years.

Full report here


Here's an FoI request detailing numbers using Short Breaks from 2009-2012