To do this, the County Council is holding an eight week consultation on proposals to close two residential respite care homes: Merrydale in Winchester, and Sunbeams in Aldershot.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, said: “I am aware that this can be an unsettling time for those families who could be affected by proposals on possible changes to services. However, at this stage, I must stress that no decisions have been made. I think it is extremely important that the groups of people who could be affected, as well as the wider public, have the chance to have their say, and I urge them to do so through the public consultation.”
From midday on 7 August until 11:59pm on 2 October 2017, all those that could be affected by the proposals - if they are taken forward - and the wider public are encouraged to make their views known. They can do so via the online consultation response form at www.hants.gov.uk/consultations
The County Council is aiming to develop a potential offer which has a less institutionalised approach to respite care and is more in line with choices that children and young people with disabilities, and their families, are asking for.
For example, the offer could include commissioning a much wider range of services comprising: whole family breaks; specialist foster care for one or a number of nights; home care breaks with a carer staying overnight in the home; and activity centre trips; as well as residential respite care provided by other organisations.
Following the close of the consultation, and analysis of the responses, a report on the feedback will be prepared for Councillor Mans to consider, later in the year - together with recommendations for a decision on the future direction of the respite care homes.
1. Please note that this consultation is separate from the County Council’s Serving Hampshire - Balancing the Budget consultation (closing on 21 August 2017). As such, responses to this consultation on overnight respite services will not be used to inform any decisions made by the County Council with regard to the Balancing the Budget consultation.
2. Drop-in events have been arranged to help parents and carers to take part in the consultation. Booking is not required to attend these events.
At the drop-in events people will be able to:
• Find out more about the alternative overnight respite services which could be used instead of Merrydale and Sunbeams;
• Talk to Hampshire County Council staff.
These events are being held alongside, but separate to, the ‘Get Together’ regional meetings organised by Hampshire Parent Carer Network. Details of the times and locations of the events are set out below:
Andover: 8 September 9:30 – 11:30
Longmeadow Centre, Cricketers Way, SP10 5DE
Aldershot: 14 September 10:00 –12:00
Aldershot Centre for Health, Hospital Hill, GU11 1AY
Romsey: 15 September 9:30 – 11:30
Youth in Romsey, Southampton Road, SO51 8AF
Winchester: 20 September 9:30 – 11:30
United Church, Jewry Street, SO23 8RZ
Basingstoke: 28 September 9:30 – 11:30
Maple Ridge Primary School Maple Crescent, RG21 5SX
Alresford: 29 September 10:00 – 11:30
The Swan Inn Hotel, 11 West Street, New Alresford SO24 9AD