letters to the editor:The real cost of community care

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From Mr Deryk Mead Sir: I would like to correct a few misunderstandings that may have arisen from your article "Crisis council pays advisers £l,000 a day" (20 January). Rather than scrap our current computer system, at a cost of over £250,000, we are developing the system within existing budgets. We will continue to use the equipment already purchased, while improving the software in order to meet the increasingly complex demands of community care. As this might necessitate bringing in external consultants, a contingency fund of £10,000 has been set aside for this purpose. However, no such costs will be incurred without competitive tenders having first been sought.

While these improvements will allow for better community care services, no money has been taken from our community care budget to provide for them.

Yours sincerely, DERYK MEAD Director of Social Services Gloucestershire County Council Gloucester 20 January