Campaigners for the elderly and vulnerable in the Midhurst and Petworth area have lashed out at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) for painting a ‘misleading and false’ picture of care services.
They say the county council continues to fail the vulnerable and the picture they portray is a “far cry from what care workers and the vulnerable are experiencing reality.”
Midhurst based chairman of the Don’t Cut Us Out Campaign (DCUO) Margaret Guest spoke out after the council’s top health and adult services member Margaret Whitehead told her select committee: “I have nothing but praise for WSCC’s care policies.”
Mrs Guest, a leading member of the ‘Big Society’ Rother Valley Together group, which set up its own day care after county council services were axed and former senior WSCC care manager said: “We are coming across case after case where cuts are having a terrible impact on people least able to cope. Far from ‘increasing customer care and control’ as the council suggests, care practitioners are experiencing the exact opposite.”
Campaigners have released a catalogue of case studies of people who have lost vital care support including Peter Adams, a severe muscular dystrophy sufferer from Bognor Regis who had his 24-hour care support cut to just seven hours a day. He said he had not been visited by a council social carer since the cuts were made 18 months ago.
“The cases are simply the tip of the iceberg,” said Mrs Guest. “We have many more who are too frightened to speak out.”
A county council spokesman said: “It is a fact WSCC and its partners in the local NHS have been rated as the best in the south east in how they look after the health of people with learning disabilities.
“The council believes its changes to the eligibility criteria for social care have been handled with care and sensitivity.
“It is interesting DCUO has ignored our announcement WSCC’s three political group leaders have come together to back a campaign calling for more funding for adult social care.
“Leader Louise Goldsmith said: ‘This is too important for party politics, which is why we are coming together in an all-party fashion to urge the Government to inject some money into adult social care.”
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