Hampshire care provider concerned as county council proposes even more budget cuts

PROPOSALS to slash community grant funding will have a major impact on the lives of elderly people in Hampshire, a care provider fears.

Friday, 25th February 2022, 3:21 pm
Updated Friday, 25th February 2022, 3:24 pm

MHA, a UK charitable provider, has warned that Hampshire County Council's plans to cut the adult social care budget will force them to reduce the services they provide to pensioners across the county.

The county council is planning to cut £680,000, with the neighbourhood care and support, community based support and rural connections grants all under threat.

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These cuts are currently going through a public consultation.

Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA, believes that the impact of the cuts would be significant.

He said: 'The services and activities we provide are designed to improve mental, physical, and social wellbeing from physical exercise to social activities.

'We know that our services are vital for the people that they support. Over the past year, our community services in Hampshire helped over 2,300 local people – through befriending services, exercise groups and food deliveries.

'Throughout the Covid-19 lockdowns, many of these services provided a critical lifeline to older people throughout the pandemic.'

According to the MHA, these services also help to delay older people accessing further care from Hampshire County Council and health services, in turn saving public money.

The grants the council is proposing to cut to go to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across Hampshire to support adults living independently.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, executive lead member for adult services and public health, said: 'Finding additional savings across adult social care is extremely challenging, and while significant work continues to transform services and find more efficient ways of doing things, we have additionally had to take the very difficult decision to review some services that we have no legal obligation to provide.

'This is not something we do easily or lightly, but should any, or all of the proposals be taken forward, we would prioritise working with partner organisations to help minimise the impact of any changes.

'In the case of community grants, this would involve supporting local organisations to secure alternative methods of funding, improve the co-ordination of grant applications, as well as introducing proactive initiatives to help increase the number of volunteers coming forward.'

The consultation will run until Monday, March 21 - to have your say go to hants.gov.uk/AHC-consultation.

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