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November 7, 2017 11:51 AM

'Cost before care' is a chilling policy shift for looking after elderly and vulnerable adults in a new Devon County Council report the authority is being asked to approve, say the county's Liberal Democrats.

Alan ConnettThe council's ruling Cabinet will tomorrow (8 November) be asked to back a new policy to support and promote independence in Devon...but tucked away in the report is confirmation that when it comes to care, price will the key deciding factor says Lib Dem opposition leader Cllr Alan Connett.

Council jargon unpicked by Cllr Connett shows that the council will 'not necessarily' fund care packages which achieve the 'best possible' outcomes "without due regard to cost".

The report being considered by the all-Conservative Cabinet adds "...when we say best value we mean that the most appropriately costed care package to enable a person's eligible needs to be met".

Cllr Connett said:" I'm sure everyone would agree that we want to keep people as mobile and independent as possible, but this new policy is chilling. For the first time I can recall, it's clear that cost could come before care .

"If ever we needed proof about the impact of the Government cuts affecting residents here in Devon, this is it. It's a carefully worded policy that sings about maintaining independence and giving choice, but it's clear money comes first.

"No doubt the county council and Conservatives will deny this very real concern, but the truth is they have closed the residential care homes for children and adults and are now wholly reliant on the private sector. They've got to keep a lid on costs because of Government cuts. This new policy shows what the impact could be here in Devon."