Leadership blog - 9 February 2024

Cllr James Moyies, the cabinet member responsible for adult social care talks about dementia support services amidst challenging financial times.

Cllr James Moyies a white man wearing glasses, a dark suit and red tie with while dots. He is sitting in a chair with a coat of arms behind him.

Following much discussion, engagement, and political debate, the cabinet published its final draft budget earlier this week. It will be discussed at cabinet next week and then Full Council on 22 February.

Last week the Leader spoke about the challenges we face and the difficult decisions we are having to take under his leadership. He also spoke about collaboration with other councillors and listening to residents and those affected by some of our proposals. Last week I spoke directly to several protestors outside the Civic Centre about the proposals to stop the dementia community support service and how it would affect some of them directly

Our revised budget reflects some of this listening approach. The key change amongst the amendments proposes a £100,000 investment to provide a new type of dementia carer support. This funding would enable the development of dementia support groups across the city to provide carer support, information and advice and encourage peer support. This will include the retention of the Windermere Club as an ongoing group. It would fund two community navigators/community builders to support these groups. These two roles would also provide support and advice to social care teams and community groups and undertake carer assessments where required. The investment would also provide funding for additional carer support and advice via partners to support the community groups going forward.

When thinking about the new proposals, it is important to understand the context behind the original proposals which followed the ending of joint commissioning arrangements with partners. We therefore had to review our contribution and service and this led to the proposal to decommission the dementia community support team for which the council contributes £250,000 a year.

The current service that is proposed to stop is jointly commissioned and funded, and for the council to take this on solely would cost much more than the current £250,000 contribution as clearly that amount would not cover the amount needed to maintain the current level of service. We just cannot afford this and have therefore had to review what we can offer and propose this alternative approach that is within our financial means and will provide support for those in the city. This also demonstrates that we listen and understand the importance of dementia support

As I have said, we have listened to many views expressed through the public consultation on this and I have spoken directly to some of those impacted. I know our proposals mean a change to the service but I am pleased that we can make a £100,000 investment that will allow us to fund two dementia community navigator roles that will provide support to those impacted by this life changing condition. We are also continuing with plans to modernise our adult social care department and improve our carer response

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend,

Cllr James Moyies, cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care

Published: 9th February 2024

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