ELDERLY residents could be left in “limbo” over cuts to care provision at three indepedent living schemes for the elderly in Dorset.

It comes as Dorset County Council revealed plans to review how personalised care was provided at three Extra Care Housing schemes – at Foylebank on Portland, Westhaven House in Weymouth and Bure House in Christchurch – as part of cuts to its adult social care provision.

It will mean that a new provider will be found to replace Aster Group, which currently provides registered care at the three premises under a new cheaper contract.

The current contract includes regular wellbeing calls and an activities coordinator who provides social events on site.

However, the daughter of an elderly resident at Westhaven said the lack of an announcement of a replacement provider had left residents ‘in limbo’, and they are not sure what could happen next.

She added: “They have got a preferred list of providers but it’s strange that they haven’t made a decision yet, a lot of the residents don’t fully understand the changes.”

The woman understands that current Aster employees have received redundancy letters “so residents will lose caring staff whom they have known for a long time”.

She also claimed the new provision would see no social activities and residents only receiving care during unplanned periods and emergencies only.

However, Dorset County Council says the changes at the three affected properties reflect the need for social care to be provided based upon an individual’s needs

It stressed that the existing arrangements, due to end this month, needed remodelling.

A spokesman added: “Following consultation with residents, the remodelling of this service will mean those who currently pay towards their care will receive a reduction in the cost.

“One aspect of the feedback we received was about the need for an on-site ‘peace of mind’ service. This will be maintained in the new contract and care will continue to be provided based on the needs of the individual.”

An Aster Group spokesman, added: “We do understand that this must be a worrying time for residents, however, we have no influence over who the new provider might be and we would encourage anyone who is concerned to speak with Dorset County Council to find out more about what the change in provider means for them.”

They did not comment on any redundancies saying any changes to employment conditions are “confidential.”

The cuts come at the same time as a report by Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) which highlighted the fragile state of many council social care budgets – coupled with growing demand for services, increasing NHS pressure, and spiralling staff costs.

It warned that councils “cannot go on” without a sustainable long-term funding strategy to underpin social care and warns that continuing cuts to budgets risk leaving thousands of people who need care being left without services.

The new care providers who will replace Aster are expected to be decided soon with the new provider expected to take over on September 1.