Sefton Council wants to hear views from across its communities about proposed changes to day centres and alternative opportunities.
The second stage of a widespread consultation is underway as Sefton looks to ensure people, carers and families can live fulfilling lives with appropriate support in the years ahead.
Although set in the context of diminishing resources and other issues, Sefton’s review of day opportunities aims to provide modern services with an approach to supporting vulnerable people that is centred around individual needs.
The council also wants to support carers and increase opportunities for disabled adults, adults with a learning disability and older people with mental health problems, while at the same time providing sustained opportunities for future generations.
A questionnaire is available and events will be taking place across the borough, in addition to targeted discussions with current service users. The consultation runs until January 29, 2015.
Sefton Council is facing further significant reductions in Government funding alongside several other issues which require a radical approach to re-designing care services.
These include an increasing ageing population, requirements to integrate care provision with NHS services, and a move towards personal payments which give people more control over how they meet their own needs. In addition to this, many of the buildings that currently operate ‘day-care’ are underused, costly to run and are becoming unfit for purpose.
Sefton’s proposed model of support ranges from helping those with the greatest need to supporting people to be more independent given the right opportunities and environment.
It will provide some efficiency to the costs of care, and expenditure on buildings which means the possible closure of some day centres.
The council is also assessing the different options that can meet the transport needs of people who attend day centres.
Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Older People and health, said: “We are changing our approach to meeting the needs of disabled people by creating different options in the community while at the same time modernising day centres.
“The changing demographics of our community mean that we must facilitate flexible opportunities in modern settings. It is not ‘where’ we meet the need but ‘how’ we deliver the best outcome for the individual.
“Money is obviously a part of this as the council is facing significant reductions in central Government funding and we have to make sure each pound we spend is effective. However, it is not the main reason for the changes.
“A first phase consultation has already been completed about different support models and the majority of people who responded agreed with our vision. But we also want to hear views from the broader community and everyone is able to respond to the next phase of the consultation via the council website.
“We will use this information in conjunction with what people say in this next phase of consultation to help make decisions about what changes need to be made in the future.
“We are not stopping day care. Anyone who has an assessed need whereby they require a day service will still receive it, but some centres will close. This may mean that some people will attend a different centre and others may be more suited to accessing a range of support within the community.
“We are also consulting about transport. No changes will be made without discussion with the individual and their families and carers. When any changes are made in the future, every current service user will be contacted to discuss their own personal support needs.”
* Further information about the proposed model of support for day opportunities is available atwww.sefton.gov.uk/dayopportunities People can also fill out the questionnaire online. (A copy of the questionnaire has been sent directly to all service users who currently use day care services.) If people need help with the questionnaire, or further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 934 3610. All questionnaires must be submitted by January 29, 2015.
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