Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Adult Social Services

Individualised Care Budgets – Part 1
We are currently approaching the completion of the restructure of back office support services for adult social services. If there are still any members with any outstanding questions please contact Maggi Myland on 0208 359 2088 or email

Individualised care budgets – Part 2
For those of you not working in adult social services you may choose to skip this article I
would advise you don’t!

What does or does not happen in adult social services impacts on the whole of the Council. Adult Social Care costs are rising both locally and nationally, yet there is no sign from Government that they are going to increase funding.

The cost of Social Care is an issue for the community not just Barnet Council.

I bring this to your attention because Barnet is leading the way in how and what we provide to vulnerable members of our community. This new way or VISION as it is being called looks to change assessment and provision in a fundamental way.

More choice, more flexibility, BUT not more money. In fact it will have to be delivered with less money. IF you have caught on yet…..read on…….for the next 3 years this new way of working is going to have to deliver significant savings. Savings are not new to Social Services we have always had to make savings. In the past savings and I am talking £millions would be saved by has been privatised so that option is no longer available.

So, if prposed savings are not made in thios finacial year it will have to come from somewhere.

We have seen this happen elsewhere in the Council where predicted budget savings were not achieved and JOBS were CUT.

In an increasing uncertain world, inflation rising, most of us are struggling to keep up with payments for the minimum requirements e.g. rent. Mortgage, energy & food bills, council tax. Which is why UNISON is watching and scrutinising what the Council is spending money on.

Agency spend
Do we need to spend £5 million on agency staff per year?
Can we not make better use of our own existing staff?

We have been chasing the Consultancy spend figures for 5 years and we are still no nearer to know ing how much it is costing the Council. We understand the business case for bringing in a consultant to come in and carry out a short term specific piece of work, but we know there are consultants working year after year. We have nothing personally against consultants but when there is no business case or their use is not being monitored then we must raise it directly with our employers.

YOU can help.

Do you have consultant in your team? When did they start? How long have they been there?
PLEASE pass any details to

Individualised budgets - What next

1. We are seeking urgent meetings with Director of Adult Social Services.

2. We are requesting monthly meetings with the lead Council officer leading on the VISION.
3. We will also be looking to organise a meeting for UNISON members working in adult social services to discuss individualised care budgets and will be looking to invite a speaker from UNISON HQ.

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