Agenda item

Third Financial Review of 2023/24

To consider a report on the third review of the Cheshire East Council forecast outturn for the financial year 2023/24.


Cllr A Moran joined the meeting during consideration of this item.


The Committee received a report which provided the third review of the Cheshire East Council forecast outturn for the financial year 2023/24.


Members were asked to consider the serious financial challenges being experienced by the Council (and other councils) and to recognise the important activities outlined which aimed at minimising the impact on services.


Officers reported that there were two key things that were driving the overspend which were inflation on placements which was primarily residential nursing care and supported living placements and an increase in people with more complex and greater needs than there was prior to the pandemic. It was thought that two of the reasons for that were due to the way the pandemic had affected people's mental health and an aging population.


In response to Members comments and questions officers reported that


-      A short stay bed was more expensive than a long-term package of care, so the decision was taken not to sustain the 200 short stay beds. The Council would go back to pre-pandemic levels that worked out at 50 short term beds and the costings around that were calculated last year in preparation for 23/24 budget. This would achieve savings as a result of a mixture of less care in some cases where that had been the assessed need, lower cost care such as care at home, or more income as people had moved from a short stay bed into a long stay bed.

-      The Council was currently out to consultation on a new Direct Payment strategy. It had increased the payment that it was making for direct payments so that it would become a more attractive option because overall that was a cheaper way of delivering care than either through commissioned domiciliary care or through a bed.

-      In respect of the home care provision there were currently no individuals waiting for home care which indicated that the strategic approach to increase capacity was working.

-      There were issues in terms of international recruitment, which the Council was supporting providers with alongside government funding.

-      The Cared Cubed tool used national benchmarking data in respect of cost of care and there was lots of data available for the Council to use in comparison with its neighbours, regionally and nationally.

-      Work was underway with legal colleagues to review the recovery of debt which was over 6 months.

-      In respect of being able to identify potential clients in advance there was data and projections that were built into the forecast. There was also a Preparing for Adulthood program that is developing projections in terms of young people who will transition into adult social care.

-      The interface between the provision of social care and NHS care and the respective criteria for each, is under constant review and work was ongoing.


An amendment to the recommendations in the report was moved and seconded which sought to amend the word ‘consider’ to ‘note’. This was carried by majority.


The Committee thanked officers for the work that they have done in meeting the budgetary targets that they had set under very difficult circumstances.




That the Adults and Health Committee:


  1. Note the report of the Finance Sub Committee: Finance Sub Committee, 11th January 2024.
  2. Note the factors leading to a forecast adverse Net Revenue financial pressure of £5.0m against a revised budget of £136.5m (3.7%), for Adults and Health Committee services.
  3. Note the forecast and further mitigations needing to be identified, aimed at bringing spending back in line with budget.
  4. Note the in-year forecast Capital Spending of £0.02m against an approved MTFS budget of £0.47m, due to slippage that has been re-profiled into future years, in respect of Adults and Health Committee projects.
  5. Scrutinise the contents of Annex 1 and Appendix 2 and note that any financial mitigation decisions requiring approval will be made in line with relevant delegations.


Supporting documents: