A Nottingham charity that serves as the lifeline for elderly people suffering from mental health illnesses is to close due to budget cuts.
Many vulnerable adults will be left without support as a result of reduced government funding. Most councils are expected to make cuts in their services to people on low income, including some on social care.
This has seen Integritas, a life changing charity that works with a range of statutory organisations at the heart of Nottingham, helping vulnerable adults who suffer from mental health illness, to lose its funding from the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
Some organisations in the voluntary sector will have to fund themselves for the first time, while for others, like Integritas, will be forced to close. Cuts at the NHS CCG mean that Integritas will struggle to find the £160,000 it needs to stay open.
Victoria Burrows, is the Project Manager at Integritas. She says “Because of this we are going to close up in July.
“People have needs, they might have a care package with adult social care but it’s not fulfilling all their needs, they are people who cannot leave their house without a support and they are left alone almost. I think the demand for our service is growing because of the cuts but partly because people are aware of what we do.”
In a statement provided by the NHS CCG, a spokesperson said:
“We have contracts with four organisations, including Integritas, to provide community mental health services which come to a natural end on 31 March 2016. Following engagement with patients and service users around their needs, the CCG has re-invested all recurrent funds back into the mental health agenda based around our engagement outcomes. It is the CCG’s aim to provide high quality innovative services that change and meet the needs of our patient demographic.”
The commission cut will mean little or no services for the elderly. Service user Alan Richardson, one of the many Integritas supports, describes the service as his ‘lifeline’. After spending 18 years out of 20 in jail for a series of crimes including burglary and theft, he believes thousands of lives like his would not be the same without some support.
No more Central Government funding support.
The city council has said that due to central government funding cuts, it now has no option than to cut some services in order to save more money. This has led to the Clinical Commissioning Group’s decision to reshuffle its budget in the voluntary sector.
In an interview with CBJ, Deputy Councillor Graham Chapman said the main grant they receive is being cut by £15.4m to £58.4m. He’s described the position in which the government has placed Nottingham as being hugely disappointing saying it’s suffered “a harsher drop than for many affluent places.”
The council also confirms that the Government grant for day-day services in the city will fall short by 2020 despite an expected rise in council tax and business rate income. The local authority says it has no option but to accept the central government’s levy of 2% to be able to fund the city’s adult social care.
Stewart Hartley, Director at the Nottingham People’s Assembly says it’s quite impossible for the council to cut less money from the public sector but “The council could look at ways of cutting from the private sector instead.”
The city council is doing what it can to protect some services including:
- Children’s centres
- Bin collections
- Keeping crime and anti-social behaviour down
- Keeping Nottingham clean
- Children and vulnerable adults services.