Most of Liverpool City Council’s day centres are set to remain open under proposals which are now being consulted on.
They have been developed following informal consultation with service users, staff and carers since March; are designed to preserve the council’s skills and expertise in looking after some of the most vulnerable clients, and make better use of some of the council’s buildings.
The discussions have involved older people and those who receive mental health and learning disability assistance in day services and supported accommodation.
The aim is to ensure the city council can continue to support the most vulnerable in the face of £156 million of Central Government funding cuts over the next three years.
In mental health, we propose continuing with two ‘hubs’ in the city, with more of an emphasis placed on recovery and reablement as well as offering longer term support.
The options being consulted on would see the council continuing to run the following centres, which provide specialist services for the most vulnerable:
• The Lime (physical disability and sensory impairment)
• Middleton (older people/day services)
• Crown Street (mental health)
• Amethyst House (mental health crisis support)
• Aigburth (alcohol)
The council also proposes to continue to run the following centres, which mainly deal with older people, offering 24 hour reablement care as well as some day services:
• Sedgemoor (dementia and day care)
• Granby (reablement only)
• Venmore (stroke and day care)
The consultation is also proposing the following centres remain open but are transferred to external organisations:
• Lancaster (learning disabilities)
• Alderwood (learning disabilities)
• Parthenon House (mental health)
• Geneva Road (homeless)
• Supported accommodation (learning disability and mental health)
Under the proposals, Norris Green Older Persons day service would be relocated to Venmore and Speke Day Centre would close, with service users offered care support at another centre.
In addition, the council is looking to develop better quality accommodation to replace Besford House in Belle Vale, which is used for respite and long term care for people with learning disabilities. Service users and carers would be involved in designing the new facility. It is being proposed that Besford House would then become a specialist residential service for those with complex needs such as autism or acquired brain injuries, to reduce the need to send people out of the city for care.
The proposals will deliver savings of almost £3 million per year for the council.
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for adult social care, Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “We have been working hard over the past few months to find the best possible way of continuing to support people who receive care, despite the huge cuts that have been imposed on us by the Government.
“The proposals we are consulting on would see the city council continue to run some care services for the most vulnerable, although for some this may be delivered by a different organisation.
“We will be listening to feedback from service users, carers and our own staff during the consultation period over the next six weeks, and there will be a series of meetings which they can attend.
“We absolutely understand that any proposed change is always difficult, and whatever proposals are approved we will work with those affected to make sure that they are fully supported through any transition period.
“We are committed to assessing everybody’s individual circumstances and providing services that meet their needs.”
The consultation will run until 12 October 2014, and all of the documentation can be found at http://liverpool.gov.uk/council/consultation/ together with a survey.
Following the complete of the consultation, a report with a final set of proposals will be considered by the Cabinet.