A MAJOR consultation about the way adult social care is delivered in Warrington has got underway.
The Big Care Debate seeks views about how social care needs to change to help more people to live independent lives in their own homes.
Joe Blott, the borough council's executive director for neighbourhoods and communities, said: "The amount of central funding for social care is being reduced at the same time as demand for these critical services is increasing.
"We forecast that over the next two years, there will be a 13 per cent increase in the number of older people living in Warrington, and by 2030, the over-80s population will have doubled.
"The way in which people are choosing to access social care services is changing as we try to give people greater choice over the kind of services they can purchase.
"We need to consider the best ways to use a smaller budget, which will allow us to continue to support all service users with a high quality of care, but prioritise limited resources so that people with the greatest needs receive the most help."
To do this, the council is launching its Big Care Debate, to ask as many people as possible to contribute to the exercise to reshape social care provision in the town. The consultation is aimed at service users, their carers and families, partner agencies, care providers and representative groups.
Mr Blott continued: "There are two specific areas where we want to hear views. The first is about the level at which the council provides public funding for adult social care, with the potential in future to only fund those people who are assessed as having 'substantial' or 'critical' needs.
"The second is about the provision of daycare services, where we need to recognise that fewer people are now choosing to receive care in fixed locations and instead look to tailor our daycare provision to places and activities that people will choose to use."
The consultation will run until the end of June.
People can take part in the Big Care Debate in the following ways:
Complete and return a questionnaire online at www.warrington.gov.uk/BigCareDebate or email comments to ssv_enq@warrington.gov.uk or fill in a paper copy questionnaire and return it to: The Big Care Debate, Warrington Borough Council, Bewsey Old School, Lockton Lane, Warrington WA5 0BF.
There will also be drop-in information sessions at The Pyramid, Palmyra Square on May 10, 2-4pm and 6-8pm, Alford Hall, May 30, 2-4pm.