Question mark over future of centre

By Rob George Friday 02 November 2012 Updated: 09/11 13:24

CONCERNS have been expressed about the long-term future of a Droitwich centre for adults with learning disabilities ahead of a meeting of Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet on Thursday (November 8).

Councillors on a task group set up to examine a new way of delivering daytime support services cast doubt on whether the new scheme could be sustained for those with high needs at Kingfields Day Centre on Ledwych Road.

Only five people now use the new service and members questioned whether it would be viable to maintain the current number of resource centres for such low numbers of service users

Droitwich and Evesham were highlighted to trial a pilot service to encourage and support adults with learning disabilities to be as independent and self-supporting as possible.

The new scheme is part of a transformation of the service by the county council in a bid to make savings of around £1million and give residents more choice about the kind of activities and support they want.

But as well as the low amount of people using them, members also expressed concerns about the building being used.

“If the hub was to be sustainable, then premises in a more convenient location would be preferred, i.e. in town near public

transport routes,” their report stated.

Despite the concerns over the site’s future, the councillors did recognise the pilot had worked well in the town with strong support from staff and those who did use the service.

A county council spokesman said: “The review of learning disability day opportunities is about seeing whether service users would benefit from accessing more non-traditional, community-based services which open up much more choice for them.

“Although they provide a good level of service and are well valued by many service users and families, traditional building-

based day centres are restricted in the sort of activities they can offer.

“We feel there could be real benefits to widening out the opportunities people with learning disabilities have to learn new skills, play a fuller role in community life and meet new people.

“The safety, wellbeing and quality of life of the individual is the most important thing and all the comments, including from the scrutiny panel and service users and families will be considered by cabinet when it debates the issue on Thursday.”

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