Healthcare services could be cut across Lichfield and Burntwood to help tackle £15million funding gap

A range of cuts to health and care services are being considered after Staffordshire County Council revealed a £15million funding gap.

The authority is one of a number which have yet to agree their Better Care Fund (BCF) plan for 2016/17. The scheme is designed to encourage the NHS and councils to work together to target resources on community care.

Alan White

Cllr Alan White

But Cllr Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, said a £15million hole in the budget means savings will need to be made – and admitted tough decisions may need to be taken.

“Staffordshire’s BCF plan for 2016/17 has still to be agreed due to a significant funding gap in the expected contribution from the NHS and this has now been escalated to Government,” he said.

“Until this is resolved, it is sensible for the council to see if further savings can be made in our own running costs, look to prioritise funding of the care of people who rely on the council’s help the most and review any additional funding we currently provide to the NHS to see where further efficiencies can be made.”

A report to the council’s joint corporate review and healthy Staffordshire committee reveals that the local Clinical Commissioning Groups have been instructed to prioritise their own funding towards increased acute hospital care as part of steps to address their own budget issues.

The county council says it hopes a freeze on non-essential spending controls will help to cover the shortfall.

But the report reveals that a number of other changes are being considered.

“To date the county council has provided additional funding to support NHS resonsibilities, an example of this is special school nursing,” the report says. “Some of the savings proposals will be achieved by reducing funding for these services which are the responsibility of the NHS.”

Other services which could see the council reduce funding or prioritise the way budgets are spent include:

  • Child and adolescent mental health services.
  • Reablement, rehabilitation and intermediate care services.
  • Sexual health services.
  • Substance misuse services.
  • Assistive care technology and equipment adaptations.

The future of a number of non-statutory services are also being considered as part of the review, including the closure of the Crisis support scheme which helps people with food and fuel in emergency situations.

Other areas facing potential cutbacks include:

  • The Debt Benefit and Consumer Advice Bureau.
  • The self-advocacy service which helps people give views on healthcare provision.
  • Projects to combat loneliness and isolation.

The proposals will be discussed at the meeting of the committee on June 13.

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

6 Comments

  1. Steve Norman

    3rd June, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Surely Fabricant has some comments to make about this state of affairs and will want to come to the aid of his party colleagues who are trying to deal with the consequences of ministerial decisions?

  2. Interesting

    4th June, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Savings? Cuts? Such harsh words.

    Surely you mean safeguarding.

    This is the start of the major cuts, getting worse every year. Compassionate Conservatism it’s called.

  3. Rob

    4th June, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Ending the abuse of the motability car scam and charging NHS tourists would cover ths cost easily.

  4. Mat

    4th June, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Savings- well where will they find the money. Wait a minute….I know.

  5. Interesting

    4th June, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    @rob, totally agree.

    The constant house building, makes this issue worse, far more people competing for fewer services.

    We need some joined up thinking. Not dealing with every issue, on its own. They are all linked.

  6. Asellus aquaticus

    8th June, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Rob, are you telling us that the motability car scheme and non UK NHS users cost Staffordshire over £15M per annum?

    Or are you perhaps just trolling for a change?

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