Midhurst community leaders join adult social care crisis debate

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Deep concern that adult social care is at breaking point has led to a call for pressure to find more funding.

Midhurst town councillor The Rev David Coote is urging fellow members to lend their weight to the growing lobby seeking changes in the way county councils can budget to cope with the funding crisis.

He told the Community and Environment Committee, although Midhurst did not have any care homes, residents may need homes in the future: “Of course it’s true many residents in Midhurst may be able to self fund. In fact two fifths of people in residential homes are self funders. But for those who are, there is a issue. There is huge concern among self funders they are getting a raw deal as they are being asked to pick up the price for the failing system.”

Mr Coote, expressed concerns which came from first hand experience of the mounting crisis through his role on the management committee of the Whitmore Vale Housing Association offering supported living and homes for people with learning disabilities.

He said the two per cent currently permitted to be added to county council precepts for adult social care was ‘totally inadequate’.

“Many groups associated with the service including the Care Quality Commission and numerous other bodies have warned social care is at breaking point.

“As homes struggle to keep the lights on they are having to close and over 30 homes in West Sussex are closing because they are not getting the support they need.” He said there was also evidence people in state funded homes did not get the care others received.

Mr Coote wants to enlist the help of MP Andrew Tyrie for changes to local authority budgeting so the two per cent cap can be removed.

The problem in West Sussex was exacerbated, he claimed, by an unfair government grant allocation: “It’s all very well to say the south east is prosperous but there are many deprived area pockets.”

He was supported by vice chairman John Quilter. They will bring a resolution to full council.

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