Care alarm service will not suffer under £1m cuts - council

The Northern Echo: Care alarm service will not suffer under £1m cuts - council Care alarm service will not suffer under £1m cuts - council

A COMMUNITY alarm service will not suffer under proposals to save £1m from its annual running cost, councillors have insisted.

Durham County Council’s Labour cabinet today (Wednesday, December 18) agreed a range of changes to Care Connect, a round-the-clock alarm monitoring service used by thousands of old and disabled people.

The number of times a person’s needs are assessed each year will fall from four to one and there will be various back-office efficiency savings.

Also, the 4,700 people who pay for the service will see the charge rise from £4.10 to £4.50 per week.

But it will still be available free to 13,400 households across County Durham.

Council chiefs hope the changes will cut spending on Care Connect from £3.3m a year to £2.3m.

Councillor Eddie Tomlinson, the cabinet member for housing and rural issues, said: “Care Connect currently provides an essential service for 17,000 households, helping some of the most vulnerable of our residents and there’s a likelihood this will grow in future.”

In those circumstances, he said, it was important the council retained a round-the-clock service.

Deputy leader Alan Napier said the changes were designed to protect this.

Ian Thompson, the council’s corporate director of regeneration and economic development, said it was talking to trade union representatives to try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies arising from the cutbacks.

The cabinet agreed the changes during a meeting at Durham Town Hall today (Wednesday, December 18).

Comments (2)

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3:26pm Wed 18 Dec 13

budgiegirl says...

They are finishing the day staff and probably proposing they do 12 hour shifts for less money if they are lucky enough to be kept on , it wont matter if you have children or other commitments it will be a case of do or go.
The alarm service will suffer under the cut back proposals as the 4 yearly visits cut to one will mean the red button equipment itself will not get checked quarterly and other equipment also connected will not be checked like it does now and customers contacts wont be updated unless the customer informs us.
It will probably end up a response only service with no interaction between staff and customer.
They are finishing the day staff and probably proposing they do 12 hour shifts for less money if they are lucky enough to be kept on , it wont matter if you have children or other commitments it will be a case of do or go. The alarm service will suffer under the cut back proposals as the 4 yearly visits cut to one will mean the red button equipment itself will not get checked quarterly and other equipment also connected will not be checked like it does now and customers contacts wont be updated unless the customer informs us. It will probably end up a response only service with no interaction between staff and customer. budgiegirl

4:10pm Wed 18 Dec 13

roaduser98 says...

There will always be winners and losers in this game of 'austerity'. The winners have gone to London, leaving the losers to pick up the results of austerity.
Why if all these councils are making sacrifices, the tax bill never reduces accordingly. Sharing the savings being made, with poll tax payer ( a reduction in the Tax Demand) would be the fairest way to distribute any savings.
There will always be winners and losers in this game of 'austerity'. The winners have gone to London, leaving the losers to pick up the results of austerity. Why if all these councils are making sacrifices, the tax bill never reduces accordingly. Sharing the savings being made, with poll tax payer ( a reduction in the Tax Demand) would be the fairest way to distribute any savings. roaduser98

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