Health and social care shake-up

Care at home costs have impacted budgets.
Care at home costs have impacted budgets.

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Two staff have taken voluntary severance packages at a cost of nearly £142,000 as part of a restructure of the South Ayshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and a recovery plan was presented to the Integration Joint Board, which oversees the HSCP, last week.

Conservative councillor Hugh Hunter said there is a “substantial overspend”, adding: “Board members are going to be asked to make some very unpleasant decisions to bring it back in line.”

He added: “The decisions will affect people adversely – especially the most vulnerable.”

Budget pressures in the 2018/19 financial year are primarily associated with social care and the board has already agreed to raise the threshold for the provision of services across adult services to “critical” needs only.

Providing care at home for older people is among the services which have contributed to the overspend as is care home provision.

There has also been a huge rise in the number of vulnerable children needing residential care in the area – costing £1.8 million this financial year.

In September councillors approved the deletion of five posts and the creation of six managers working in the children’s services department.

Within adult services councillors have signed off the creation of four new jobs while five posts were deleted.

South Ayshire Health and Social Care Partnership is not the only Scottish integration board facing financial challenges, Audit Scotland has highlighted rising demand for services, financial pressures and quality of financial planning as the main reasons.