25/07/2013 - Permalink

Reports on future of adult social care to be considered

Related topics: Community

Future options for how adult social care day services are delivered in Shropshire are being discussed in a new report.

People who use day services are increasingly being given the choice to make their own decisions about the type of care they receive and the kinds of activities they do.

This is known as personalisation, and means that people who are eligible for social care support are given a personal budget which they can spend on a package of care and activities that are right for them.

As part of this new way of working, the number of people using traditional day centres is falling as more people take up the option of alternative activities, many of which are more fulfilling than attending a day centre.  In July 2013, a total of 463 people were using day centres compared to almost 600 a year before.

Therefore, the number of buildings which the council runs as day centres will need to reduce as fewer people use them.  The council runs 17 buildings, 10 of which are exclusively used to provide day services.

The report contains a number of recommendations, including a proposal to close Hartley’s and Sabrina Court day centres in Shrewsbury, and Innage Lane day centre in Bridgnorth, mainly due to user numbers declining and the buildings no longer being fit for use.  Everyone will be spoken to about the future options available and anyone who needs to continue day centre care will be able to use other council or community facilities.

A new day centre is being proposed for Oswestry to replace two existing centres – Avalon and Lorne Street – because the buildings are no longer fit for purpose.  Again, everyone who currently uses these day centres will be talked to directly about the next steps.

The report also recommends the development of the commerciality of day services provided at Oak Farm, Greenacres Farm, Patchworks and Maesbury Metals to secure their long-term future.

Tim Barker, Cabinet member for adult services – transformation and safeguarding, will consider the report at a meeting on Thursday 1 August 2013.  The report is open for public discussion, and anyone can make comments by emailing Tim directly at tim.barker@shropshire.gov.uk or by calling 01743 250347.

The report, marked as item 2 and appendices A to E on the agenda, can be viewed by clicking this link.

Councillor Barker said:

“This is really a continuation of the work the council is doing as a whole – going to the customer or service user and asking them what services they need rather than dictating to them what we think they want.

“This work started in 2010 and continued last summer, when we had the biggest consultation ever seen with people who use adult social care services.  What came across loud and clear during that consultation was that people wanted choice and control over the support they needed.

“So that’s what we are doing.  We are talking to people who use adult social care services, and their families and carers, about giving them the choice to do different things instead of the traditional approach of being taken to a day centre.   That could be employing a personal assistant to help do things themselves, attending art classes or going to a football match.  The whole aim is to give people choice by allowing them to spend a personal care budget on activities that are right for them.”

Stephen Chandler, director of adult services, added:

“As more people change their care packages, fewer people are going to day centres, so it is inevitable that the council will run fewer day centre buildings in the future.

“We would like to reassure anyone who currently enjoys attending a day centre that we will speak to you before anything happens, and if a day centre is the right type of support for you, there is no reason why that can’t continue – if not at the current base then somewhere nearby.  And if people have formed special bonds with day centre colleagues, we can work together to make sure those relationships continue.”

Another report being considered by the Cabinet member involves elements of support services for adults with learning disabilities could be transferred to independent providers under proposals being considered by Shropshire Council.

A report being put to the Cabinet member for adult services for consideration recommends that Community Living, Shared Lives and Kempsfield residential home should be re-commissioned to be provided by another organisation.

The Community Living service supports adults with learning disabilities to maintain their independence by living in their own homes in the community, while the Shared Lives team arranges respite or longer-term living opportunities in the carer’s own home.

Kempsfield is a residential home in Shrewsbury for 21 adults with a learning disability.

The report recommends that Community Living and Shared Lives are re-commissioned through a procurement process and transferred to an independent provider by April 2014.

For Kempsfield, it recommends that an options appraisal is undertaken over the next 12 to 24 months, to include discussions with potential partners to explore a redesign of the service.  This could take the form of a transfer to a registered social landlord, or sale of the building with residents being offered different supported living accommodation.

Detailed discussions will take place with potential partners, and the people who currently use these services, before any decisions are made.

The report is marked as item 1 on the agenda for the decision-making meeting on 1 August 2013, and can be viewed by clicking this link.