Views sought on future of Leeds care homes

VIEWS on the future of residential care homes and day centres in Leeds are to be sought in the new year.

Leeds City Council has given the go-ahead for two consultations over reorganising adult social care services.

They will look at changes to long-term residential and day care, as well as the effect of removing subsidies on charges for non-residential adult social care services.

The review comes as the council looks to make 50m cuts after its Government funding was slashed.

There are 19 residential care homes in Leeds, most of which were built in the 1960s.

They are now in need of refurbishment to bring them up to modern standards.

According to the council, even though the number of people aged over 85 in Leeds is increasing, demand for residential care is falling. This is partly as a result of more older people accessing personal budgets to pay for their own care and live in their own homes for longer.

The council says demand for its 16 day centres is also falling, with attendance ranging from 39 per cent and 62 per cent, which means that keeping them all open is no longer financially viable.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care, said: "We are facing some really difficult decisions in adult social care, as the number of older people in the city continues to grow and the council's budget is subject to massive cuts. We have no option but to look at how we deliver our services going forward. We need to be sure that we can look after our most vulnerable people with the resources that are available. It's really important that we involve people in this process, which is why we will spend the next three months talking directly to those affected along with their carers and families."

The consultation will run for 12 weeks between January and March 2011 and will look at the impact on residents and their families.

Meetings will be arranged with residents at each of the homes and day centres, while carers, family members and partner organisations such as voluntary and private sectors will also be involved.

The second consultation will look at the impact of removing subsidies on charges for non-residential adult social care services, seeking the views of those affected. There will be meetings and events and a service user and carer group will be established.

Details of the consultation will be available on early next year.

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