Changes to disabled services in Edinburgh

East Lothian Council have announced plans to charge people with learning difficulties for their use of day centre facilities.

The proposal will see those affected charged £2 per three hour session, with additional costs for transport to destinations outside of their services. These centres are located in Musselburgh, Port Seton and Haddington.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership say the move is due to budget cuts.

Service users and their carers were informed of the decision before the announcement was made public today. No other facilities in Edinburgh currently ask users to pay for these services.

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) confirmed there had been talks on the issue in the past but until now, no decision had been made.

Councillor Fiona O’Donnell told the Edinburgh Evening News:

“The continuing pressure on public funding in Scotland and in the UK means that our resources become more and more stretched every year. At the same time, we have a rapidly growing population of people who need social care support. This means doing things differently so that we can meet people’s needs cost-effectively. We do not have the option of doing nothing – managing our resources extremely carefully is the only way that we will be able to continue supporting the growing number of service users and carers in the longer term.”

The ELHSCP say the proposed charges are a result of having to make significant budget savings of around 3 million within the next 3 years.

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