Residents and community groups are invited to share their views about adult social care as part of a major national consultation.
The Local Government Association (LGA) consultation, titled ‘The lives we want to lead’, asks how best to pay for social care and support for older people, adults with mental or physical disabilities and unpaid carers.
The LGA hopes that the responses will start a debate about changing the emphasis of the care and health system to focus more on preventative, community-based personalised care, changes which would help to maximise people’s health, wellbeing and independence and alleviate pressure on the NHS.
The LGA estimates that nationally, adult social care services face an annual funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Cabinet member for adult and health services and chair of the health and wellbeing board, said: “County Durham’s population is changing significantly and the number of people aged over 65 will increase from almost one in five people to over one in four by 2030.
“The question of how we pay for adult social care in the long-term is therefore getting even more urgent.
“The consultation is open to all members of the public, regardless of whether they receive adult social care and support, and I would like to stress what an important opportunity this consultation is for people in County Durham to have their say.”
Findings from the consultation will be used to help influence the Government’s spending plans and its own green paper, due for release this autumn.
Residents and community groups have until Wednesday, September 26, to comment on the consultation, which can be found at www.futureofadultsocialcare.co.uk