“Historically, the way things have been done in Staffordshire is often a lottery and isn’t fair or sustainable. Local authorities are finding it impossible to meet fast growing demand for care from within existing resources and nationally, the appalling state of public finances means there is no more money and further shrinking resources. “For people needing care the services available depend far too much on where in Staffordshire you live or your savings. And the help and support carers receive for the crucial role they provide must be fairer across Staffordshire. I want the whole system to be simpler to understand with honest and obvious fairness between one individual situation and another at the very heart. “I want to remove the random factors as much as possible and give more people the same opportunities of access to the quality of care they need. It’s vital to hear the views of people across all age groups and circumstances because we all either use care services or pay for them through our income and council taxes. “It needs an open and transparent public conversation now. I won’t accept the top down approach which often happens, because this is about people and we have to tackle the future challenges together. Everyone, from service users and carers to Staffordshire taxpayers, has a big stake in getting this right.”Members of the public can go to any of the eight events and transport can be arranged. Anyone wanting further details can call 01785 277054. People who want to have their say can request a questionnaire giving their name, address or email by calling 01785 277054 or emailing email@example.com. To find out more about the events or see the questionnaire online, visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk.
The amount of funding provided by the public purse towards the cost of care is up for debate – and Lichfield and Burntwood residents are being asked to voice their opinions. Staffordshire County Council is holding a series of consultation events across the region in November as part of efforts to help develop care provision that is modern, fair and affordable both to individuals and public finances. More than 13,000 people across the county aged 65 and over currently receive some form of care supported by the county council and this will increase to almost 14,500 in 2014 and over 18,500 in 2029 due to increases in the older population. There are also 17,288 people who currently receive social care and health support for physical, sensory or learning disabilities. County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: