Exeter City Council set to save old people’s warden service
An old people’s warden service threatened with being axed because of a funding shortfall looks set to be saved by Exeter City Council.
Devon County Council recently announced that it was withdrawing funding for the warden service for residents in older persons’ accommodation because of pressures on its budget.
But Exeter City Council – which manages the accommodation – has stepped in with an offer to fund the service after residents said how much they valued the support.
The warden service provides support to residents living in older persons’ accommodation, carrying out regular checks on their welfare and ensuring they are not left isolated.
” We carried out a consultation exercise which demonstrated how heavily many of our older tenants rely on the warden service both to provide social contact and assist with day-to-day tasks,” said Cllr Rob Hannaford, Lead Councillor for Housing and Customer Access.
Now Exeter City Council is proposing to step in and pick up the necessary funding to ensure continuity of service its older tenants and to avoid the situation where people are not receiving the support they need.
The proposal will go before Exeter City Council’s Scrutiny Community Committee on March 3, with Executive making the final decision on March 17.
The city council is also proposing to fund community engagement officers to work with other agencies and the tenants themselves, to identify what other forms of support and social activity are required and the best way of delivering this. This is aimed at promoting health and wellbeing and potentially reducing more expensive interventions by the County Council & Health Authority.
“We have decided this is the right thing to do even though the financial benefits of potentially lower demands on social care budgets and hospital bed spaces will be felt by the County Council and the NHS,” said Cllr Hannaford.
“We could, as a city council, simply sit on our hands and say we are not the ones withdrawing the funding and we are not the ones whose budgets may ultimately benefit from continuing with the service. However, I am focused on the needs of the tenants and the best way of meeting those needs. This I believe is the best way forward.
“We will continue to work with other agencies to look at alternative ways of delivering the service in future, to see whether there is a better model out there, but for now the priority is to ensure our tenants receive continuity of support.”
(from a press release)