Council moves forward with plans to transform autism and learning disability offer

Published Wednesday, 28th June 2017 Have your say on changes to learning disability and autism services

The transformation of the learning disability and autism offer is set to move one step closer on 10th July when Council's Cabinet is asked to approve a series of consultations about future services.

This consultation will mark a significant step towards shaping care around individual circumstances, enabling people to exercise choice and maintain control over their own lives, whilst ensuring that the offer is value for money. 

If approved, there will be three separate consultations covering each of the types of provision: In-house day centres, respite care and residential care. These will run at the same time over a 12 week period and are expected to start in September. 

Customers, staff and other stakeholders will be encouraged to give their view on the options outlined in the consultation which include the options to close or reshape provision.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor David Roche said: “The way in which adult social care is delivered is changing rapidly as demand for more personalised services continues to grow. We are therefore seeking to shape our care provision around individual circumstances which encourage choice and independence. 

"The Council’s current provision does not provide this for customers so our aim is to transform, shape and change the offer to one that meets the needs of people locally within their own communities rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

"We are looking to change the overall Adult social care offer to be person centred not service centred. We must also consider the financial context of our shrinking resources and increasing demand for services, which together pose an additional challenge.”

The Council has based its proposals on earlier consultation and conversations with service users. However it is still really important that everyone who is affected by the proposals tells the Council their views during the 12 week consultation period so the Council can make fully informed choices going forward.

We understand that this consultation and changes to peoples’ current provision that may arise as a result, may cause anxieties. However we will work with our customers and their families to find the best way of meeting individual aspirations and no changes will be made without a full assessment of need.”

The approach proposed is in line with national good practice, building on the principles set out in the Care Act 2014 which highlight the need for personalised support, early intervention and access to a range of services and support at the right time. 

In addition the Council has committed to developing its Prevention and Technology Strategy, in line with the Care Act 2014, by August 2017. This is to ensure the provision of services, facilities or resources to help prevent, delay or reduce the development of needs for care and support. The Cabinet is also being asked to approve this approach as well as agreeing to retain the REACH Day service. Whilst the council will be exploring how it can maximise the REACH Service for future provision this will not form part of the formal consultation process.