The council is remaining tight lipped about the details of huge cuts within the authority’s mental health department, agreed last week.
At last Wednesday’s budget setting meeting, councillors voted to slash the funding for mental health by more than a third, from £3.16 million this financial year to just over £2 million next year. This was despite a dearth of information on exactly how such a significant cut would be achieved.
Budget documents for the social services committee outlining the proposal contained inly vague suggestions as to what might be ahead. These included the “implementation of service charges” (no details yet available); the redesign of “dementia” services and unspecified internal “efficiencies”.
The report also suggests that there will be “service level reductions”, though these are identified only as “maximise independence, use of assistive technology and third sector [voluntary sector] capacity.”
All efforts to clarify the proposals this week were rebuffed by the council. A spokeswoman said: “This is a particularly sensitive area of service, and it would not be appropriate at this time to discuss the detail of future service levels.”
More in this week’s Shetland Times.