PEOPLE in Hartlepool are being asked to give their views on a proposed change to the amount that adults in the town contribute to the cost of care and support they receive in the community.
Hartlepool Borough Council is carrying out the consultation exercise on its Contribution Policy from October 14 to November 26.
Under the current Contribution Policy, which has been in place since 2008, the council subsidises all social care packages by 25 per cent.
This is irrespective of an individual’s income meaning that the maximum contribution anyone makes to the cost of their care is 75 per cent of the actual cost.
The proposed change would increase this from 75 per cent to either 95 per cent or 100 per cent, but would only affect those who are able to pay more.
The change would follow a financial assessment.
It is estimated that the proposed change would affect between 380 and 430 of the 4,600 people in the town who currently receive social care support in the community.
The Contribution Policy does not affect people in residential care such as an older people’s care home, where there is a different system in place for contributions.
Councillor Carl Richardson, chairman of the council’s adult services committee, said the proposed changes were another way to save money, but protecting the most vulnerable people in town.
He also urged people to give their views on the proposed changes over the next few weeks as potential changes could impact them or people that they know.
Coun Richardson said: “Given the scarce resources the council now has at its disposal we have to strike a balance between setting reasonable contribution policies while maintaining the ability to deliver good quality services.
“The proposed change to the Contribution Policy, if implemented, will enable the council to continue to provide support to the most vulnerable people in the community.
“We want to know what people think of these proposals.
“I urge them to air their views over the coming weeks.”
There are two public meetings to discuss the plans which will be held in the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, on Monday, November 18.
Town residents are welcome to attend to find out more and ask questions.
The first meeting takes place from 3pm to 4.30pm and the other from 5.30pm to 7pm.
Alternatively, people can complete an online questionnaire by visiting www.hartlepool.gov.uk.
Or another option is to obtain a copy via HealthWatch on (01429) 2762641 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The council is also sending out the questionnaire to the 4,600 people who currently receive support in the community.
A final decision about whether to implement the proposed change will be made by the council’s adult services committee on Monday, January 6, next year.
If agreed any changes will be implemented from April 1 next year.