Users face rise in care fees

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ADULT social care service users are facing increased fees in part of South Yorkshire.

Barnsley Council’s cabinet has agreed to put up charges due to a reduction in Government funding - although the authority said protection will be given to those with the lowest incomes and no-one will be asked to contribute more than they can afford to pay.

A Barnsley Council spokesman said: “There are two main reasons for changing our policy.

“The way that we support people with social care needs is changing with the introduction of personal budgets. A personal budget is an agreed amount of money which gives people more flexibility, choice and control over how their social care needs can be met.

“The Government has also issued new guidance to councils about how to calculate the amount that people should pay towards the cost of their care.

“The council is facing a very difficult financial challenge over the next few years. Our current charges do not reflect the full cost of our services and are currently lower than all other local authorities in our region and almost every authority in the country - many of whom charge full cost for all services.

“The Government provides the council with some funding for Adult Social Services and assumes that we will raise the remainder through charges, or ultimately we will have less money to provide services.”

From June, people’s financial contribution will be changed, based upon an individual financial assessment, and the maximum that anyone will be required to pay will be increased to £90 a week.

Services that will not be affected include residential care, adaptations to the home, plus community alarms and other alerts and warning devices.