Fears raised over cuts to services for Norfolk’s older people

Fears have been raised about the impact of proposed Norfolk County Council cuts on older people. Pho

Fears have been raised about the impact of proposed Norfolk County Council cuts on older people. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Cuts to services for the elderly in Norfolk could create a 'disaster area' in the years ahead, a leading campaigner for older people has warned.

Norfolk County Council is consulting on proposals to save £140m over three years to plug a £189m spending gap. That includes saving £56m from the adult social care budget.

Among proposals are saving £12m by limiting how people can spend personal budgets and tightening up on who can get free transport to services.

Norwich Older People's Forum met in the city's Blackfriars Hall today to hear about the proposed cuts from Sue Whitaker, cabinet member for adult social services and Harold Bodmer, director of community services.

And Joyce Hopwood, chairman of the forum, said she feared adult social services could go the same way as the council's children's services department, where major problems have occurred after cuts three years ago.

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Ofsted inspectors levelled stinging criticism at the department and that, coupled with pressure from MPs, led to the former director Lisa Christensen departing in June.

Mrs Hopwood said: 'Three years ago, children's services were really cut drastically and we are now seeing, I think, the results of those cuts.

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'What worries me is that we are being told about massive cuts to adult scoial care ay a time after we have been told services have already been cut to the bone.

'At this point what is going to happen to adult social care and is it that in two or three year's time, we going to be facing a disaster area in terms of what's happening in adult care?'

Ms Whitaker said she hoped lessons had been learned from that and the latest proposals were more measured.

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