Bedford council says care services are a priority - but face recruitment challenges

Bedford Borough CouncilBedford Borough Council
Bedford Borough Council
Bedford Borough Council said care services remain a priority following research claiming eight in ten councils are considering cutting spending on community services to pay for care services.

The research also found that only two thirds of councils are confident of meeting all their legal duties under the Care Act by next year.

The Care Act is ten years old and despite being designed to improve access to vital care and support, the Local Government Association (LGA) said some councils may need to cut services to meet their duties under the Act.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The LGA said 80 per cent of councils are considering cutting down on community services, such as parks, libraries and leisure, to try to protect care services.

Councillor David Fothergill, LGA social care spokesperson, said: “The Care Act was a beacon of hope for those needing care and support but this hope has faded.

“A decade on, people are still facing long waiting times for assessments and support, and not getting the full care and support they need.

“Councils are doing all they can to ensure they meet their duties under the Care Act – including cutting spending on other neighbourhood services – but many still fear they will not be able to over the coming years,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said: “In common with all local authorities, Bedford Borough Council continues to work to best manage its finances and provide the best services it can to residents across the borough.

“As well as being a statutory duty, care services remain a priority for the council.

“Also in common with most local authorities, Bedford borough is experiencing challenges with recruitment across the social care sector generally.

“However, services are safe and we continue to monitor quality and standards of care provided in the local care market, through our care standards monitoring service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The situation is nevertheless challenging and requires close monitoring.

“At present we are supporting the prevention and early help offers as far as possible within the availability of resources, and we continue to support people to remain as independent as possible to delay the likelihood for formal support.

“We are seeing higher complexity of need in all areas and we are presently doing all we can to avoid people requiring more acute care,” they said.

The Care Act pulled together legislation on adult social care built up since 1948 placing duties on councils, including the need to focus on people’s wellbeing and ensure the provision of preventative services.

However, the Act has coincided with a rise in people needing to draw on care and support and cuts to council funding.