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Social care services for adults gets £8.7m budget boost

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An £8.7million budget boost will protect adult social care services in Renfrewshire, see bills cut by an average of 40% for around 1,000 people and make sure that all the staff who provide the services, public and private, get paid the Living Wage.

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Social care services are designed to help people live longer, healthier lives in their own homes. They include Care at Home, where staff help out with day-to-day domestic tasks, and the Reablement Service. It provides intensive help to allow people to regain their independence and recover any skills or abilities that they may have lost due to illness.

The £8.7million boost is part of Renfrewshire Council’s budget for 2016/17, set on Thursday 3 March.

Everyone who receives adult social care services undergoes a financial assessment and some people have to pay towards the services they receive at home. The funding boost means around 1,000 of these people will see an average saving of around 40% on their bills – worth over £50 a week in some cases.

The cash is also being used to secure the Living Wage for people employed by private firms to provide adult social care services for the council. This means they will get £8.25 an hour from 1 October 2016. Council employed Care at Home staff already receive the Living Wage.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “Our goal is to help people in Renfrewshire live longer, healthier lives in their own homes.

“The services we provide through the Renfrewshire Health & Social Care Partnership are a key component in allowing people to enjoy their independence for as long as possible.

“This multi-million pound investment protects these vital services, reduces the amount people have to contribute towards their care, and guarantees that the care workers who deliver our services receive the Living Wage – regardless of who they work for.

“Care workers play an increasingly important role in enabling our older people to live safely in their own homes and in their own communities. This budget recognises and rewards their vital contribution.”

Renfrewshire Council was one of the first Scottish councils to commit to pay the Living Wage to its staff. Ensuring private firms pay their staff the Living Wage has been a key part of the council’s negotiations with companies who want to deliver publicly-funded services.

Renfrewshire Council agreed a £381million budget for 2016-17. The council will also invest £149m in capital projects over the next three-years.