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Still time to have a say on learning disabilities day services

Published: 14 June 2022

There’s still time to take part in a consultation on proposals to transform day services across Derbyshire to help people with learning difficulties and/or who are autistic lead independent lives.

We are seeking people’s views on plans that would put people at the heart of services, recognising that everyone has the potential to be an active part of their community.

Support would focus on an individual’s strengths to help them gain valuable living skills, develop confidence to lead the life they choose and give them opportunities to thrive – while maintaining some day services for people with complex needs.

Cabinet agreed to consult on the proposed changes after hearing fewer people are choosing building-based day opportunities, preferring instead to access a range of diverse opportunities and activities in their communities.

People are being asked for their views on 2 options.

Option 1:

  • redesign services to move away from traditional building-based day services in favour of offering alternative opportunities
  • expand our team of community connectors - trained staff who support people with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic to explore opportunities that exist in their local communities
  • create a new support service team to provide more intensive practical support to people with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic and their families to help them get used to the changes if they went ahead
  • identify gaps in services and work with independent, private and voluntary providers and other organisations to develop new opportunities.
  • retaining 4 day centres and relocating anyone that wanted to continue using these by providing transport where necessary to allow them to do this
  • a phased approach to discontinue the use of 8 day centres where there is a lack of demand and people have already relocated or are being supported to choose other opportunities

Option 2:

  • continue to run 12 day centres - this would mean we are unable to free up investment for the redesign to a model of community-based support

Councillor Natalie Hoy, our Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said:

“We remain committed to supporting people with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic across Derbyshire.

“Everyone deserves to live an independent and fulfilling life but instead of trying to fit people into services we have available we are keen to make sure our support focuses on an individual’s strengths to help them achieve personal goals.

“For too long we have been delivering a one-size-fits-all approach but we are all different and need different things at different times which is why we are looking to transform the support we offer.”

To take part in the consultation which runs until 19 June 2022 people can fill in an online questionnaire.

People with learning disabilities and/or who are autistic, their families and carers and staff affected are being contacted directly so they can give their views and support is being provided to those who need it to express their wishes.

Councillor Hoy added:

“I’d like to reassure people that everyone’s views will be taken into consideration before any decisions are made about the future of our day services and I’d encourage as many people as possible to have their say.”

For more information or to request a paper copy of the questionnaire people are asked to email or contact the stakeholder engagement and consultation team tel: 01629 531307. Support will also be offered to anyone who needs help to take part in the consultation.