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KCC to cut £18m from care budget for frail and elderly

Social services chiefs are expected to press ahead with cutting more than £18m from the budget for care for the elderly and vulnerable despite coming under fire from charities, voluntary groups and others.

Kent County Council is facing a backlash over its plans, with warnings that the savings cannot be made without hitting the quality of care for thousands of people.

A meeting held to discuss the savings held as part of the council's recent consultation and attended by more than 50 organisations saw many openly sceptical about the authority's claim that services would be unaffected.

Many were  concerned the cuts were being implemented when demand for services was increasing because of the rise in the elderly population.

A report due to be presented to KCC's Conservative cabinet next week also reveals that many felt the plans for more preventative care was wrong and "might lead to some individuals not receiving the most appropriate care."

TWhat do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments belowhe politician in charge of adult social care admitted the cuts would not be easy, but the council had few alternatives.

Cllr Graham Gibbens (Con), cabinet member for adult care, said: "I have some concerns myself. It is not going to be easy.

"The public do seem to accept that carrying on as we are is unsustainable. Just increasing the council tax is not acceptable - we have to look at other ways of doing it."

Asked whether KCC would be re-thinking the scale of the planned savings, he said: "The £18.2m is the figure we are working to at the moment.

"I do believe that is realisitic and one we can achieve. We have spoken with outside people and nobody has said that what we are looking at is undeliverable."

The council says it will work much more closely with its partners in the NHS on preventative schemes to avoid the need for people to have to go into hospital

KCC spends £355.6m on adult care, of which £158.6m is spent on nursing and residential care with a further £44.3m going on care for people living in their own homes,  known as domiciliary care.

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