To do this, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans has agreed (on 17 July 2017) that an eight week consultation goes ahead, over the summer and early autumn, to seek views on proposals to close two residential respite care homes: Merrydale in Winchester, and Sunbeams in Aldershot.
Councillor Mans said: “Whenever the County Council is considering changes and improvements to services, I think it is extremely important that the groups of people who could be affected, including in this case children and young people with disabilities, as well as the wider public, have the chance to have their say. I sincerely hope that as many people as possible will take the opportunity to make their views known.”
The County Council aims to develop an 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.
According to the report considered by Councillor Mans, if it is decided at a later date that the two homes should close, there would be an equivalent offer of respite care and, therefore, no reduction in service
The consultation is due to open on 7 August, and will run until 2 October 2017. People will be able to view the consultation information and submit their responses online via the County Council’s consultation web page. Following the close of the consultation, and analysis of the responses, a report on the outcome would be prepared for Councillor Mans to consider, together with recommendations for a decision on the future direction of the respite care homes.
View a copy of the report setting out the proposals for the consultation.