Why are the proposals being made?
Keeping up with national changes
The way social care is provided is changing in England due to service users wanting more choice and control over their care. The Hampshire Strategy for People with a Learning Disability, Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives, set out a new direction for services for people with learning disabilities, in line with Personalisation and self-directed support.
Some key issues coming from the consultation for Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives and Hampshire’s Commission on Personalisation were that people were dissatisfied with the lack of flexibility of the council’s own services for people with learning disabilities and that they would welcome more access to mainstream services, more social opportunities and more choice.
Valuing People Now “Valuing People Now” (Department of Health, 2009) sets out the Government's strategy for people with learning disabilities for the next three years following consultation. It also responds to the main recommendations in Healthcare for All, the independent inquiry into access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities.and the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s report on day opportunities Community-based day activities and supports for people with learning disabilities
How we can help people to ‘have a good day’ (Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2007) describes “Having a Good Day” for someone with a learning disability as, “doing things that have a purpose and are meaningful for them, doing things in ordinary places, that most members of the community would be doing, doing things that are uniquely right for them, with support that meets their individual and specific requirements meeting local people, developing friendships and connections and building a sense of belonging.” A number of local authorities have already modernised their in-house provision to meet these aims, driven by a Valuing People “Valuing People; A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century” (Department of Health, 2001) initiative. Despite the best efforts of staff, current day services owned by Hampshire County Council are not able to meet these aims.
Take up of the Council’s services
There is evidence that young people with learning disabilities are not choosing the Council’s day care services any more. Some planned respite and crisis services are also experiencing low take up. Self- Directed Support is likely to mean that more people will choose more of their own support rather than Council run services.
A number of Hampshire’s residential and day care services are based in older buildings. Many of the day services buildings and some of the residential ones are too big for the number of people who currently use them. Because of their age projected maintenance costs for Hampshire County Council’s day and residential buildings are very high
Many of our day service buildings are located in isolated settings leading to a lack of integration for people using those services in the wider community. Services are also made more isolated as day service buildings are just used by people with learning disabilities.
More complex service users in the future
There will be 135 new people with profound and multiple learning disabilities living in Hampshire over the next twenty years and these older buildings are particularly unsuitable for them. The Council’s residential buildings, for example, often do not have big enough rooms and enough ground floor rooms.
Value for money
The Coalition Government announced the next two year funding for Local Government in October 2010. It is clear that there will be less funding available in future years.
In this context, it is vital that Learning Disability Services are sustainable, offer more choice and control and are cost effective. In general, Hampshire County Council’s own day and residential services tend to be more expensive than other alternative services run by the voluntary and private sector and are more expensive than services such as Shared Lives. Shared Lives Carers provide the support people require in a family home environment.