Cabinet received a report which followed a review of current day opportunities for people with learning and physical disabilities provided by the Council, which had been commissioned to understand if the Council was meeting people’s needs or if services could be offered differently and improved upon.
In the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), signed off by Council in March 2013, it had been agreed that greater emphasis should be placed on supporting adults to maintain their independence for as long as possible, including, where possible, enabling them to stay living in their own homes and for them to play a bigger part in the community in which they lived.
Cabinet had received reports on this subject in December 2013 and then again in March 2014 where it was agreed that future options should be considered in consultation with stakeholders, with a recommendation being brought back to Cabinet for future consideration and implementation. The agreed model of service and the delivery vehicle would subsequently be subject to consultation with stakeholders.
In March 2014, Cabinet had concluded that the current day service model was not compatible with personalisation and did not support individuals to maximise opportunities for independence. Cabinet had therefore requested a proposal which took a number of factors into consideration.
Ms Assunta Genovese, a service user of 49 Lincoln Road addressed Cabinet and provided an overview of the support offered to her and the activities that were available to her. Ms Genovese further advised that she had been part of the day opportunities design group and had looked at how day opportunities were provided in Thurrock. She advised that although Thurrock did well, Peterborough provided a better service.
Councillor Fitzgerald introduced the item and provided an overview of the background to the issue and an overview of the model. Further key points included the continuation of all services, but with some being provided in a slightly different manner; individual care packages being provided for those people with the most need; the challenge to make individuals strive for personal development and to give people more opportunities to be able do so; the investments that would be made in the service and the improvements that investment would make; the move to Kingfisher at the Bretton Centre for those individuals with complex and profound needs; the continuation of Fletton Day Centre for the foreseeable future and the developments that could be made going forward.
Councillor Seaton thanked Ms Genovese for addressing Cabinet and for providing an overview of the service which she utilised, this being 49 Lincoln Road. Councillor Seaton further highlighted all of the services available at 49 Lincoln Road including bills advice, key workers, employment etc. and queried whether all of these services would still be available following implementation of a new model. The Director for Communities responded and advised that all services would still be available with further expansion, particularly in relation to employment through the micro enterprises.
Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to agree:
1. To an open tender for the delivery of day opportunities for under 65s which were currently provided by the council;
2. To provide a service for people with complex needs at Kingfisher Day Centre and have a micro enterprise situated within it;
3. Provision of community based satellite centres to provide independent living skills, employment and social opportunities;
4. For the 2015/16 budget to be amended to reflect the savings arising from the redesigned services; and
5. A further period of consultation on the new proposed model of delivery.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
The new model would better support people to reach their full potential in life. It would look to support people to develop skills which would help them to gain employment, and/or skills which would support them to live independently. It would also support those people with complex needs with a more targeted approach to ensure that their needs were met.
People with less complex needs would be supported through a combination of employment related services, community satellite centres and where possible, with personal assistants.
Employment services would continue to offer employment related activities ranging from supported employment, voluntary work to paid employment. This would be offered to every person eligible to receive a service.
The ultimate aim of this investment would be to allow people to secure paid employment wherever possible.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS CONSIDERED
Other delivery vehicles and options were considered in providing an alternative to the current in house service, (excluding the option to do nothing) which was owned and staffed wholly by the Council. All options had undergone a SWOT analysis and scoring methodology, which considered price and quality of service.
Once the scoring and analysis had been completed, a risk analysis for the top three options was completed. The options were then ranked by their total weighted score. All options were ranked against the Council’s need to deliver a long-term, value for money service, which could best meet the needs of people and deliver the necessary outcomes of the recommended delivery model.
The continuation of in-house services was not considered a viable option for a number of reasons. It could not achieve the level of savings desired and would be unable to take advantage of external grant funding opportunities afforded to the independent sector.