Wye Valley NHS Trust and Herefordshire Council at odds over shutdown of vital disability service

CASH-strapped Wye Valley NHS Trust  (WVT) is at odds with equally cash strapped Herefordshire Council over who pays for a vital service to the disabled shut down this week.

The Trust says it has little choice but to close the occupational therapy equipment and adaptations service (OTEAS) to new clients because the council won't cover the cost - as Trust's legal advice says the council is required to do.

Herefordshire Council says it is "very disappointed" at the Trust's stance.

OTEAS, which helps hundreds of disabled clients live independently will stop taking new referrals from this week.

The Trust, which has been providing the service, says the shutdown is because the Council has refused to pay for the service or even recognise the Trust's work.

“We’ve made it clear for months that we are providing this service, but the council, which is legally responsible for ensuring that it is provided, is denying any responsibility, said WVT chief executive Derek Smith.

“We have been compelled to close the door to new referrals with well over 300 people on our books whom we are continuing to help, but that cannot go on indefinitely if the council continues to refuse to pay for the service,”  he said.

The service provides expert advice on independent living, loans of equipment and home alterations with a client base ranging from the elderly to seriously injured young adults.

WVT has been running the service since its start in 2011 and, within a year, it became aware that it was not being paid to do so.

Legal advice to the Trust confirmed the council's statutory responsibility with the Trust itself having no obligation to provide the service without payment.

In October, the Trust gave notice to the council  giving it six months to either confirm it would pay for the service or find another provider.

That deadline that ran out last month without reply.

From now on, WVT will direct new referrals to the council’s adult  social care.

"We sincerely apologise for any concern or worry this may cause, but we simply cannot afford to continue providing the service on a charitable basis," said Mr Smith.

In a statement the council said it was "very disappointed" with the stance taken by the Trust on an ""incorrect" basis.

"We have explained this to the Trust and will continue that dialogue,” the statement said.

Comments (8)

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12:35pm Wed 14 May 14

WYSIATI says...

Welcome to the future - fighting over services and the bills for them and we've only just begun the cuts process. Not much talk about it as (at last) the economy has started to pick up but the planned spending cuts continue to tear down services that are very important to many people.
Welcome to the future - fighting over services and the bills for them and we've only just begun the cuts process. Not much talk about it as (at last) the economy has started to pick up but the planned spending cuts continue to tear down services that are very important to many people. WYSIATI
  • Score: 10

2:49pm Wed 14 May 14

tilliemay1 says...

Regarding the fight for funding yet another vital service to Herefords population is at risk In other areas of the country the OT equipment and adaptation service is provided by The Local authority I think praise should be given to The WVT for being so committed and providing the service My main question is What do the council mean by incorrect basis ? Please post if anyone knows .
Regarding the fight for funding yet another vital service to Herefords population is at risk In other areas of the country the OT equipment and adaptation service is provided by The Local authority I think praise should be given to The WVT for being so committed and providing the service My main question is What do the council mean by incorrect basis ? Please post if anyone knows . tilliemay1
  • Score: 4

7:44pm Wed 14 May 14

WYSIATI says...

tilliemay1 - there's a lot of committed people out there trying to provide much needed services in the face of decreasing and disappearing budgets.

I would guess this might have something to do with the pioneering amalgamation of health and council under the glorious Chris Bull - I suspect that a whole lot of trouble was stored up there and there will be many areas where the separated parts now argue over responsibilities that were not properly defined and shared.

I gather in other areas money has been devolved out - schools being the most obvious - under the guise of getting it to the front line/cutting out the wasteful council/Quango/other outfit actually set up to do the job. Goes like this - "from now on schools will be responsible for providing XXXXX, previously funded by the Council, so here is Y additional budget" . Real risks that money disappears in a general budget and perhaps no expertise or ability to deliver said service.

Adult social care must be a real concern looking forward with increasing demands, truly disgraceful stories of how things can go wrong and no resources to tackle the problems. I shall do all I can to remain ever young.....
tilliemay1 - there's a lot of committed people out there trying to provide much needed services in the face of decreasing and disappearing budgets. I would guess this might have something to do with the pioneering amalgamation of health and council under the glorious Chris Bull - I suspect that a whole lot of trouble was stored up there and there will be many areas where the separated parts now argue over responsibilities that were not properly defined and shared. I gather in other areas money has been devolved out - schools being the most obvious - under the guise of getting it to the front line/cutting out the wasteful council/Quango/other outfit actually set up to do the job. Goes like this - "from now on schools will be responsible for providing XXXXX, previously funded by the Council, so here is Y additional budget" . Real risks that money disappears in a general budget and perhaps no expertise or ability to deliver said service. Adult social care must be a real concern looking forward with increasing demands, truly disgraceful stories of how things can go wrong and no resources to tackle the problems. I shall do all I can to remain ever young..... WYSIATI
  • Score: 7

8:06pm Wed 14 May 14

megilleland says...

WYSIATI wrote:
Welcome to the future - fighting over services and the bills for them and we've only just begun the cuts process. Not much talk about it as (at last) the economy has started to pick up but the planned spending cuts continue to tear down services that are very important to many people.
An ambulance service has been fined £2.6m for failing to reach one of its key targets for life threatening calls, the BBC has learnt.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) failed to reach the government's target of attending 75% of emergencies within eight minutes during 2013-14.

The fine has been imposed by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) which control NHS budgets.

And where is the fine payment coming from - I bet it will be the rate payers. Why not just sack these transformation managers that came up with these harebraied ideas. I am sure that the ambulance frontline staff do the best thay can in view of constant cutting by the government and creation of new bodies to look after our interests.
[quote][p][bold]WYSIATI[/bold] wrote: Welcome to the future - fighting over services and the bills for them and we've only just begun the cuts process. Not much talk about it as (at last) the economy has started to pick up but the planned spending cuts continue to tear down services that are very important to many people.[/p][/quote]An ambulance service has been fined £2.6m for failing to reach one of its key targets for life threatening calls, the BBC has learnt. West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) failed to reach the government's target of attending 75% of emergencies within eight minutes during 2013-14. The fine has been imposed by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) which control NHS budgets. And where is the fine payment coming from - I bet it will be the rate payers. Why not just sack these transformation managers that came up with these harebraied ideas. I am sure that the ambulance frontline staff do the best thay can in view of constant cutting by the government and creation of new bodies to look after our interests. megilleland
  • Score: 6

8:21pm Wed 14 May 14

alderley says...

Cameron's "Big Society" is obviously working well.
Cameron's "Big Society" is obviously working well. alderley
  • Score: 3

10:21am Thu 15 May 14

x-entricity says...

What exactly does Herefordshire Council spend out money on. It certainly isn't the things that affect us most, such as health, roads etc. Are they really fit for purpose anymore?
What exactly does Herefordshire Council spend out money on. It certainly isn't the things that affect us most, such as health, roads etc. Are they really fit for purpose anymore? x-entricity
  • Score: 4

10:33am Thu 15 May 14

Herefordian07 says...

"The council are very disappointed with the trusts stance" Well we are fed up and disappointed with the council so how does it feel Brockington! I urge all of you to walk down Plough Lane and just look at how OUR money is being lavished on a massive vanity project at the Plough Lane council building, an utter disgrace when so many front line services are being decimated and public conveniences closed, it is almost unbelievable yet happening before our very eyes.
"The council are very disappointed with the trusts stance" Well we are fed up and disappointed with the council so how does it feel Brockington! I urge all of you to walk down Plough Lane and just look at how OUR money is being lavished on a massive vanity project at the Plough Lane council building, an utter disgrace when so many front line services are being decimated and public conveniences closed, it is almost unbelievable yet happening before our very eyes. Herefordian07
  • Score: 7

10:45am Thu 15 May 14

walter b says...

The council is TORY so is our so called MP so they do what this government tells them because they got brown arms up to their shoulders .im housebound my pension was put up £5 a week and they taken £6 a week off me so im worse off now that is how they treat you when you pay your tax all your working life and when you need help they don't care .the council waste money where it is not wanted like the road that is going nowhere to nowhere
The council is TORY so is our so called MP so they do what this government tells them because they got brown arms up to their shoulders .im housebound my pension was put up £5 a week and they taken £6 a week off me so im worse off now that is how they treat you when you pay your tax all your working life and when you need help they don't care .the council waste money where it is not wanted like the road that is going nowhere to nowhere walter b
  • Score: 5

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