‘Unprecedented' care cuts threat in Hampshire

Hampshire County Council has warned that its health and adult social care services face an unprecedented challenge from budget cuts, with the authority planning to cut 120 jobs.

The council said its savings target of £43 million by the year 2021 would affect frontline services, with the closure of some residential homes and reduced drug and alcohol services also likely alongside the job cuts.

Hampshire County Council has published a paper claiming that the major cost-cutting exercise comes at a time of ‘burgeoning’ service demand, with the size of the target requiring a complete 're-look’.

The directors' proposals include possible residential unit closures and cuts to substance misuse, sexual health and domestic abuse services, which could lead to more alcohol-related deaths, unwanted pregnancies and less support for victims.

Kevin Gardner, chief executive of the mental health charity Solent Mind, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "Reduced investment in prevention may help balance the books in the short term, but risks a need for more intensive and costly support in future years."