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The promises about plans to change day centre services

The promises about plans to change day centre services

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:06pm 4th December 2018.

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council social care bosses have promised they will be open and consult widely about plans to change day care centre services.

The council is currently reviewing day care centres in a programme it has dubbed “modernising” the provision. It needs to cut £2million from the budget by 2021.

There have been concerns raised that this will lead to day care centres closing with parents and carers at Lyndhurst Day Centre in Bodmin already worried about plans to cut the number of days it opens.

However this week councillors and social care bosses said they wanted to be transparent about the plans and want users, parents and carers to all be involved in shaping what the service will look like in future.

The pledge over consultation comes after the council was strongly criticised earlier this year over consultation for plans to alter other services.

As a result of that Rob Rotchell, Cabinet member for health and adult social care, scrapped the plans and apologised for what had happened. The council also carried out a “lessons learned” exercise with Healthwatch Cornwall to prevent a repeat.

Helen Charlesworth-May, strategic director of adult social care and health, told a meeting of the council’s health and adult social care overview and scrutiny committee this week that she wanted everyone involved.

She said: “We have been upfront with day centre staff and carers. There is a saving that we need to make and we need to think about what we can do differently.”

Jonathan Price, service director for transformation and commissioning, told councillors: “There are financial drivers but they are not the only driver. Having services that are suitable and fit for purpose is really important.”

Mr Price said changes to the way services are provided could also help bring savings in transport costs and also for the amount of money spent on residential care by providing support for people so they can remain living at home.

Cllr Rotchell said the work done with Healthwatch had helped the council to focus the work it is doing now and the council would be going out to talk to all those who could be affected by changes.

He said: “We will be going out there and saying we need to change and how can we potentially do this, rather than going out there and saying actually this is what we are going to do.”

Councillor Jayne Kirkham said she was concerned by reports that day centres have already started to make changes and cut the number of days they are open.

She was also concerned about what the impact could be on carers and the families who care for loved ones and called for impact assessments to be carried out.

Mrs Charlesworth-May told the committee that the number of people using the services had fallen and younger people were not keen on using the services as they are at present.

She said the programme would be looking at how to provide services so that they are better suited for users.

The committee noted the report and the need to make savings by 2021. A business plan for the programme is due to be brought back in September 2019.

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