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Proposed review of Day Opportunities for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Published Thursday, 15th October 2020

Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet is being asked to approve a comprehensive review of day opportunities for adults with a learning disability.

The County Council currently provides a variety of day services for around 207 individuals.

These are delivered from four Resource Centres in Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove, Worcester and Pershore for adults with complex needs and from five Connect Services in Droitwich and Bromsgrove, Redditch, Worcester, Malvern and Evesham for those with less complex needs.

Cabinet at its meeting on October 22 is being asked to approve the start of a comprehensive review of day opportunities so they better meet the needs of individuals. This review will also consider the County Council’s learnings from the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care, said: “One of our main priorities is promoting and supporting residents to live healthy and independent lives in their community.

“We know Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the people who use both our Resource and Connect services.

“We’re delighted that we were able to reopen our Covid-secure Resources Centres earlier this week following a blanket closure in March due to Government guidance and a reduction in demand.”

Paula Furnival, Strategic Director of People, said: "We’ve learned a lot from the pandemic and we feel that now is the right time to review the service as a whole to see how it can be delivered in future so it better suits the needs of individuals.

“We will of course, if the review is approved, be consulting with people who use the service to ensure they feed into our review and so they can share their views on how we make improvements in the future.”

Resource Centres operate Monday to Friday and provide a variety of building-based activities for people including support with personal care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language support, behaviour support and psychology support.

Connect Centre Services operate Monday to Friday and provide mainly community-based day opportunities providing support such as access to employment/work experience, education and volunteering, personal care, meeting friends, computer/IT literacy support.

Whilst the centres have been closed, the Council has stayed in touch with individuals by providing welfare checks and practical support.

And in July, the Council carried out an engagement process for people who use the centres to learn from their experiences of lockdown and to begin to shape future options.

Two of the Resource Centres reopened on October 12 – Bromsgrove and Pershore – with Worcester opening yesterday (14). The opening of the final centre in Wyre Forest delayed by six to eight weeks due to a flooding issue.

Connect buildings will not reopen for now due to limitations around space and the need to adhere to Covid measures to help keep people safe. People using these services will continue to receive the support that they have been receiving throughout the pandemic.

If Cabinet gives approval on October 22nd, the review will look at ensuring access to day opportunities is focused on meeting eligible need and whether external partners could deliver any of these services in future, amongst other areas.