Charities dismayed as East Leicestershire and Rutland care cuts to hit most vulnerable.

Charities dismayed as East Leicestershire and Rutland care cuts to hit most vulnerable.

East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have confirmed plans to reduce care provided to some of the area’s most vulnerable people.

Spinal Injuries Association, Motor Neurone Disease Association and Parkinson’s UK have warned against plans to limit the amount the CCG is willing to pay for care for outside of the hospital setting. This funding will be limited at no more than 10 per cent of the cost of the cheapest alternative care setting, such as a nursing or residential home.  As a result, those with the greatest care needs could see the amount of care they receive reduced and may be forced to live in a care home against their wishes.

The implementation of the “Settings of Care” policy will see the funding of care reduced for the area’s most vulnerable people, including those with severe disabilities and long-term conditions. The charities believe that the plans will split up families and see these people forced into residential homes against their will.

In a move welcomed by charities, West Leicestershire and Leicester City CCGs recently agreed to defer a decision on implementing this limit, pending a full impact assessment. However, at its Board meeting on Tuesday this week, East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG said they consider the policy as good as approved. An implementation plan will be amended and presented at a future public Board meeting.

Sue Browning, Chief Executive Officer of Spinal Injuries Association, the leading body representing the views of spinal cord injured people, said:

“Vulnerable people should not be put in this position. These cuts are targeting the most vulnerable, are arbitrary and no justification other than saving money has been provided. The policy should instead have at its heart the need to support the most vulnerable people in society, the most severely disabled.”

Chief Executive of The Motor Neurone Disease Association, Sally Light said:

“The proposals by East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG seek to limit a patient’s choice of where they live and receive care on purely financial grounds. We’re calling on the CCG to fundamentally rethink their plans. At the very least a full impact assessment is required to adequately understand the implications of what they are proposing before they continue to give severely disabled people uncertainty and stress rather than the care and support they deserve and need.

Matina Loizou, senior policy and campaigns adviser at Parkinson’s UK and chair of the Continuing Healthcare Alliance, added:

“The CCGs have failed to carry out an adequate impact assessment that considers the views of those affected, opening themselves to a potential legal challenge. The last thing people with Parkinson’s need is the additional stress and uncertainty of battling to get the care they are entitled to. NHS bosses in Leicestershire need to understand the personal impact of their ill-considered proposals.”