Funding cuts for child and adolescent mental health services 'won't impact on patients'
CUTS to funding for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in North East Lincolnshire will not impact upon patients, council bosses have pledged.
The council is proposing to reduce funding for the service by £40,000 next year, as it aims to cut £14 million from its budget in 2013/14.
But council chief executive Tony Hunter, pictured, yesterday reassured councillors that the proposed saving was a "straight efficiency" which would have no impact on service delivery.
Speaking at a meeting of the council's children and young people scrutiny panel yesterday, Mr Hunter said: "I can't detail exactly how that's going to be achieved, but what I can assure the committee is there will be no reduction in service level or quality. Officers are doing a great deal behind the scenes to improve efficiency."
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Council leader Chris Shaw (Lab, Sidney Sussex) told the panel that the saving was the result of the council re-tendering its contract with the third-party provider which delivers the service.
Councillors also received assurances over plans to generate £110,000 by selling surplus bed spaces at the council's children's disability care centre in Cromwell Road, Grimsby.
Councillor Margaret Cracknell (Con, Haverstoe) asked how confident the authority was that it would not need the spaces, given the 74 per cent increase in referrals for children's social care in the past year.
Councillor Shaw replied: "We have done a risk assessment and we are quite happy that this is something we can do. These are bed spaces that are not being taken up.
"There has not been an increase in the number of disabled young people that are requiring this kind of care, even though the overall number of referrals is going up.
"We believe this is an acceptable risk and the situation will be monitored."
Councillor Ian Lindley (Lab, West Marsh), the portfolio holder for people services, told the panel it was too early to say what impact the £2.9 million cut to the Early Intervention Grant for disadvantaged two-year-olds would have.
Other proposals put forward include a £15,000 cut to the budget for school meals and a saving of £58,000 by deleting three posts in the Through Care and Disability service.