A consultation giving people the chance to share their views about proposed new charges for the county council’s older people’s day centre services like those enjoyed at Clitheroe’s Mearley Fold Day Centre started today.
People who use the centres, their families, day centre staff and partner organisations have until Monday, May 20th, to share their views.
Lancashire County Council runs 13 day centres including the Bright Street-based centre in Clitheroe that offer support for older people and people living with dementia. Activities at the centres include everything from mobility exercises and independent living support, to crafts and discussion groups.
The proposal to increase the fees has been made as the current rates do not cover the cost of providing the service.
This proposed change will apply to people who pay for the day service themselves.
Tony Pounder, director of adult services, said: “The county council faces a tough financial challenge, which means we have to look at all services. The current day centre fees for people who pay for services themselves were set in 2014 and have not kept pace with the actual cost of providing care which has risen considerably over the past five years. This is largely due to the increased and sometimes complex needs of people who attend our day centres. It is vital we staff to a level to keep people safe and well cared for.
“The new rates cover the actual cost of providing the service including the extra staff needed to support people with dementia.
“These proposals have been considered by county councillors but they now want to ensure people who use these day services have the opportunity to share their own views about the increases.
“Once the consultation has finished, the results will be considered by the Cabinet before it makes a final decision.
“The rates for people whose day centre care is funded by the county council itself will not be affected by these proposals.”
If the proposals are approved, day centre charges would increase:
• From £31.30 to £37.45 per full day for older people to use the council’s day services;
• From £35 to £41 per full day for older people to use the council’s day services with transport to and from the centres (where transport is available);
• From £54.75 to £65.50 for older people who have dementia to use the council’s day services. These costs reflect the additional staff support needed;
• From £58 to £69 for people who need additional support for dementia to use the council’s day services with transport to and from the centres (where transport is available).
If these new fees are agreed, they will then be reviewed and adjusted each year to ensure they cover the council’s costs.
Anyone wanting to take part in the consultation can return their completed printed questionnaire in the prepaid envelope supplied or fill in the online consultation at http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/consultations.
Anyone with questions about the consultation can contact their day centre, call 01772 535899 or email olderpeoplebusinessS@lancashire.gov.uk.