East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) yesterday announced that they will introduce a £2 per three hour session charge for adults up to the age of 65 who use their resource and learning centres. An additional cost of £2 per journey to provide transport to destinations other than day and resource centres.

The new costs come as part of their 2018-19 budget, through which the ELHSCP revealed they would be required to make savings of £3 million over the next three years, in what councillor Fiona O’Donnell called a “very difficult period financially.”

The charges will affect three centres which provide these services, in Musselburgh, Haddington, and Port Seton, just outside of Edinburgh – which does not charge for similar services.

As reported in Edinburgh newspapers, O’Donnell said: “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.”

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