SEP 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Social Services In Budget Crisis
social services department could face an overspend of up to £8
million, councillors have been warned.
managers are battling to try and work out where all the money has
gone in the budget, and are finding ways to keep the deficit from
the moment it is likely that the department will face a shortfall
of £5.6 million.
strategic director, Jonathan Smith, who was brought in to shake up
the department, has been preparing a line-by-line breakdown of its
week he ordered a temporary halt on care assessments for elderly
people in the city.
meant that some patients could not be discharged from Walsgrave
hospital as no-one knew what support they would need.
backlog built up and there have been fears that unless the beds
are made available operations will be cancelled.
John Mutton, cabinet member (Resources), told the full meeting of
the city council last night that the two-day in assessments had
been ordered so Mr Smith could fund out what the situation was.
revised figures have been up and down a bit like a yo-yo.
are still talking of a projected overspend of £5.6m. There was
some talk that it could be as high as £8m, but further work has
Dave Nellist (Socialist, St Michael’s), asked why council
members were not told of the stoppage in assessments after the
decision was taken.
he added that the shortfall should not be seen as an overspend,
but an under-funding.
Mutton said the rise in the elderly population has caused
difficulties for social services departments all over the country,
as care costs have soared.
therapists from Coventry Health Authority have been called to help
clear the current backlog, and £150,000 is to be spent on taking
more therapists on.
Nick Nolan said the main aim was to get matters back on track.
will deal with the short term crisis and then we will deal with
the long-term problems.”