KIRKLEES Council is unable to say how many disabled adults could have their care support cut.
A consultation is underway about what the impact would be if funding was to stop for services, including day care and respite, for people whose condition is classed as ‘substantial’.
It is part of an overall review of spending before councillors set the budget for 2011/12 in February.
But the council has admitted it does not know how many people are classed as ‘substantial’ and would, therefore, have their funding cut if the proposal is backed.
Instead, the council would have to re-assess everyone classed as critical and substantial – around 11,000 people – on a one-to-one basis if the changes are backed by councillors.
It means it could be difficult to put a price on how much they’d save if they ceased funding for those in the ‘substantial’ band of need before any re-assessment was carried out.
After the Examiner last week revealed the details of the consultation, we asked Kirklees Council for a breakdown of how many people were classed as critical, substantial, moderate and low – the four bands of need adult social care services use to classify people with disabilities.
The council told us that during 2009/10 it supported over 16,000 people with one or more services.
A council spokesman said: “Whilst providing intensive support to people whose needs are critical or substantial (11,000 episodes), a further 5,400 people received support from carephones or borrowed items of equipment.
“In addition, more than 6,500 people were supported by 161 grant funded organisations.”
But they were unable to break down the 11,000 “episodes” of critical and substantial.
The council spokesman added: “While the information exists in resident’s assessments, [we] would have to look at every assessment and support plan to know how many people are affected.
“Should the council amend the threshold everyone would have a review of their individual situation.
“Nobody will have their service amended unless and until a review has taken place.
“If we do change the threshold some people may lose a part of their care but we would also ensure that we continue to meet their needs in other ways.
“We would continue to meet substantial needs that would otherwise become critical by offering support and advice in various ways.”
The consultation, which runs until Wednesday, comes at a time when the council has to make £80million of savings.
It has also included teenagers still at school but who may soon need to access adult services.
A spokesman for Kirklees Council added: “Councillors will take into account the results of a consultation and may decide that no changes to current thresholds are required.
“We are working hard to address the budget situation in order to protect frontline services wherever possible.”
The Examiner also asked for the opportunity to put readers’ questions to the officer in charge but we were turned down.
The council said discussing the consultation proposals would run the risk of pre-judging both the consultation outcomes and the decisions made by councillors.
People can submit views by visiting www.kirklees.gov.uk and downloading a questionnaire and returning it freepost, or by emailing their comments to email@example.com or call Gateway to Care on 01484 414933.