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FEES DETER USE OF SOCIAL SERVICES, CLAIMS AMA

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Users of social services are being forced by councils to pay more towards the cost of care, according to a survey b...
Users of social services are being forced by councils to pay more towards the cost of care, according to a survey by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

The report, A survey of social services charging policies 1992-94, found that more councils have introduced charges in the past two years, more are imposing higher charges and more are subjecting users to means-tested charging.

'I fear people are actually going without the help they need rather than face the prospect of having to pay these charges from their limited resources', said AMA social services committee chair Rita Stringfellow.

'But councils are often left with little choice but to charge or increase charges because of government policies'.

Findings include the fact that only 17% of councils made no charge for home care in 1993-94 - down from 28% in 1992-93 - and that 61% of home care charges were means tested, against 50% in 1992-93.
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