A new future for supported living and day services in Bridgnorth
Shropshire Council is to make a decision which will secure the future of day services and look at options that could provide much-needed supported living in Bridgnorth at a Cabinet member decision-making session next week (Tuesday 3 November 2015 at 3pm).
This decision follows a recent consultation with adults with learning disabilities, their families and carers who attend day opportunities at Oak Farm in Ditton Priors, and Innage Lane in Bridgnorth.
The consultation sought people’s views on a number of options including:
- Identifying land or buildings in south east Shropshire which could be used as supported living for people with a learning disability.
- Using the Innage Lane building as a supported living house, closing the day service there and relocating it to the Youth Centre.
- Making better use of council buildings by using the present Youth Centre building for day services as well as the existing evening use.
- Outsourcing Innage Lane day opportunity wherever it is located to another provider, possibly in conjunction with the service at Oak Farm.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, said:
“I’d like to thank everyone who got involved and let us know their views on the options we presented.
“We have listened carefully and have taken on board all of your comments before coming up with a solution which will pave the way for us to commission a new provider to deliver day services. It will also give us the opportunity to explore further options around the development of supported living accommodation in Bridgnorth as a direct response to the comments raised by everyone we consulted with.”
The proposed recommendations include:
- That a new provider is commissioned to deliver the day opportunities service at Innage Lane and Oak Farm, and that this commissioning process starts in January 2016.
- That an options appraisal is undertaken to determine the opportunities for the Youth Centre site. This will include investment to bring it up to the standard of Innage Lane Day Centre, and the exploration of development opportunities in the town centre to provide supported living accommodation, housing and a community resource for use by youth groups, day service users and the wider community.
- Further analysis of the Community Asset Transfer of the Youth Centre building to Bridgnorth Town Council.
Lee Chapman added:
“We are constantly reviewing how our services can be provided more efficiently and meet people’s needs better. One of the ways to do this is by commissioning a new provider. It’s something the council has done successfully many times before, therefore we need to consider it as part of our plans to ensure the future sustainability of our fantastic day opportunities in the area.
“Another important part of our proposals include more supported living accommodation in the town. Supported living accommodation is a great way to encourage people with learning disabilities to lead an independent life, and we already have a number of similar sites across the county which have been very successful.”
Les Winwood, a Shropshire Councillor for Bridgnorth West and Tasley, said:
“I am pleased that so many carers and family members were able to have a say on the future of day services and the further opportunities for supported living in Bridgnorth.
“We must also ensure any future opportunities include youth provision and use by the wider community.”
Christian Lea, a Shropshire Councillor for Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts, said:
“Shropshire Council is committed to ensuring that there continues to be the provision of high-quality adult day services in Bridgnorth. With it being recognised that there will be a need in the future for supported living accommodation in the town, the opportunity is being taken to explore how such accommodation could be provided. It would enable those adults with learning disabilities to be able to continue to live in their local community, receiving any necessary support that they may require.”