BREAKING NEWS: Adult day care centres to stay open

LINCOLNSHIRE County Council has agreed adult social care day services in the county can stay open.

In light of the national move towards personal budgets, the authority has reviewed how its own 31 day centres, short break facilities and community supported living services should be provided in a way which uses taxpayers’ money more efficiently and personalises services, whilst still providing access to support.

Following an extensive public consultation, which saw an unprecedented response, Lincolnshire County Council proposed a model – unanimously agreed by its executive today – which will see it work to keep the buildings open and support existing staff, local groups or businesses to take them on.

The centre’s include ones that care for people with learning difficulties in Ramsgate and Warwick Road in Louth and a community based day centre in Wellington Road, Mablethorpe.

Coun Graham Marsh, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We said at the start that nothing was off the table and are now pleased to be pressing forward with plans to keep the buildings open, which users told us they wanted. Our next job is to ensure that they continue to provide the services that people want to use - and at the same high standards we expect.

“We’ve therefore committed half a million pounds into a Day Opportunities Development Fund and created a resource team which will support the development of these community assets. We’re also delighted to say that we have already received nine formal proposals or strong interest from staff groups and parent/carer steering groups, with several other informal expressions of interest too.

“We expect a number to have their new set-ups in the next six months and them all to be resolved within two years – and we’ll keep running them in the meantime. Whether each service is run by the same people again or private enterprises, we’ll be closely monitoring them to ensure they meet the high standards service users deserve.

“As people will be spending their personal budgets there, it’s in the new operators’ interests to provide the type and standard of services that people want or users will take their money elsewhere.

“In fact, 90 per cent of our service users are already getting their services from the private sector, so we want people to be reassured by this model.”