Agenda item

Remodelling of the Supported Living Offer for people with Learning Disabilities

Director of Adult Care to report.

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the report of the Director of Adult Care Services which sought  approval to remove the proposal to make savings from the remodelling of Supported Living Group Homes from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 savings programme, thereby removing the proposal from the decision making process at budget setting Council on 1st March 2017.

   

Cabinet was also requested to approve further engagement with stakeholders and service users, in order to provide additional information regarding Supported Living in Rochdale, in order to explain the options under consideration.

 

Alternatives considered:

 

Members could decide to continue to require savings to be made. This however puts at risk the positive development of the development of a range of options for people with learning difficulties in Rochdale, as some people may continue to believe the driver is cost reduction as opposed to the needs of individuals.

 

Decision:

 

1.        That approval be given to remove the proposal to make savings from  the remodelling of Supported Living Group Homes from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 savings programme, thereby removing the proposal from the decision making process to finalise a balanced budget at the Council meeting on 1st March 2017.

 

2.        That approval be given to further engagement being undertaken with   stakeholders and service users to provide additional information regarding supported living in Rochdale and the advantages and disadvantages of all options under consideration.

 

Reasons for the Decision:

 

The original report outlined that financial savings would only be achieved as and when alternative accommodation and care options had been developed. This is subject to any alternative option meeting the needs of an individual, the individual wishing to move, and following the completion of all relevant assessments, including any relating to mental capacity and best interests. Consequently, it is difficult to identify the level of any financial savings that may be realised and when.

 

During consultation, some individuals and families expressed concern that the current group home model of care would be significantly reduced or removed altogether, due to the proposal to make financial savings. This is not, and never was, the intention. The linking of the development of new options to financial savings nevertheless created concerns. These concerns have been reduced through discussion and explanation, but nevertheless removing the link between increased choice and cost savings would emphasise that the fundamental reason for developing new options is to increase choice and better meet the needs of individuals.

 

During consultation, some stakeholders expressed concern that the proposed new care and accommodation options were only, or primarily, being designed to reduce costs. This is not the case, however, removing the savings requirement more clearly shows that the council’s intention is to develop alternatives, which first and foremost work well for all people and meet the needs of each individual.

 

As outlined in the original proposal, the group home model is an expensive model of care, typically (but not always) requiring 24/7 on site staff supporting small numbers of individuals. During consultation, providers have indicated a willingness to work with the council to find alternative ways of reducing costs. For example, continuing to work with providers to address ways of reducing voids and liaising with other councils who face similar issues.

 

Supporting documents: