Report from SWAN Liverpool – Activists from SWAN and Liverpool Against The Cuts have recently established a campaign pressure group – Does Liverpool Care? to oppose Liverpool City Councils ‘Transformation and Modernisation’ of adult social care services across the city.
The campaign group, which comprises of service users, trade unionists, social work students, practitioners and academics, posed a series of questions at last week’s Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee. The questions, which have not yet been answered publicly by the committee, relate directly to changes introduced by the council as part of both the implementation of social care spending cuts. Campaigners held a lobby outside the meeting, before attending and managing to make their presence known to the committee. Prior to the committee meeting taking place, Does Liverpool Care? submitted a range of questions which probed for greater clarity around the spending cuts. The committee flatly refused to respond publically to those questions.
Campaigners are extremely concerned about the impact that the changes will have upon adult social care service users, carers and social care workers. Some of the changes which have been introduced are:
- Removal of service provision for those assessed as having ‘moderate’ care needs;
- Closure of day care centres for older people, people with disabilities and the imminent closure of mental health day services;
- Implementation and increases of service user charges for various service;
- Full scale ‘reassessment’ of need – We are concerned that reassessment will be used as a method to further remove services which people currently rely on.
The campaign group are also concerned that the council will also move to providing for ‘substantial’ needs only from next year, as well as privatisation of the few remaining in house services.
Does Liverpool Care? campaigners actively acknowledge that adult social care is experiencing a national crisis and undergoing a wide scale assault under the coalition government. Older people and people with disabilities are massively “bearing the brunt of cutbacks”1. However, they demand that Liverpool City Council should be doing more to resist making drastic changes to adult social care in their pursuit of reducing the social care budget.
- The Guardian, 17th June 2012, ‘Disabled and elderly see their day centres and key services disappear as budget cuts bite’ – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jun/17/day-care-centres-close