Proposed changes in the way some adult care services are provided will be considered by the council’s cabinet next Wednesday (1 October).
A group of services which are currently delivered ‘in-house’ have been examined in the light of the need to make budget cuts of £16 million across the council in 2015/16.
A number of options have been considered, including: closure of services, privatisation, or creating an alternative delivery model to continue the services. A number of consultation events have recently taken place with staff, customers and carers to get their views about the best way forward.
Councillor Rishi Shori, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, ran some open sessions as part of the process.
He said: “I was really pleased by the level of engagement through the process. The sessions have been full of people who really care about these services and want to influence the way they are delivered in the future. People have stepped forward with their views, which is vital as we need to know what those closest to these services want for the future.”
The services concerned are Short Stay (Elmhurst and Spurr House), Supported Accommodation (community based), Day Services for Older People (Grundy, Pinfold), Day Services for Physical
Disability (ReStart at Castle Leisure), and Day Services for Learning Disabilities (various community bases).
Some 300 customers and carers took part in the consultation sessions as well as 200 staff, and more than 400 written views were submitted.
The recommended option to cabinet will be Option 3 – to develop an alternative delivery model. This could take many different forms and the next phase of work would involve developing a business plan and specific detail about how such an organisation could be set up and operate.
Cllr Shori added: “We are keen to keep the conversation with customers and staff going through the next phase of work. We need the people closest to services to have input into designing their future.”
If the preferred option is agreed on 1 October, it is expected that a further report outlining the detail of the alternative delivery model would be presented later in the year.