To do this, the County Council began, on 7 August 2017, an eight week consultation on proposals to close two residential respite care homes: Merrydale in Winchester, and Sunbeams in Aldershot. The outcome of this consultation (which ends on 2 October 2017) could help to shape the future of overnight respite services for children and young people with disabilities, and their families.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services at Hampshire County Council, said: “I am very keen that residents, and particularly those that could be directly affected by proposals on possible changes, have the chance to make their views known. I am acutely aware that this can be an unsettling time for those families but I must stress that, at this stage, no decisions have been made.”
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 via the online consultation response form at www.hants.gov.uk/consultations
The County Council is aiming to develop a potential offer with the 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 on 2 October 2017, 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.