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All age, all disability approach to offer more people short breaks


Gloucestershire County Council is looking in to new ways to deliver short breaks for adults with learning disabilities and wants local views.

On Wednesday 8th June, cabinet will be asked to approve a consultation to help ensure short breaks offer what people need.

Of 1,380 adults with disabilities in Gloucestershire, only 105 currently use residential respite. This decreased by nearly a third since 2011/12 when the figure was at 148, and is because many people prefer day activity breaks.

The consultation will ask for views on proposals that will still offer short residential breaks, but also provide more day activity breaks. This includes the proposal to consolidate the residential provision for Adults (currently offered from The Vicarage in Cheltenham to the other two sites at Cathedral View in Gloucester and Longhouse in Stroud).

Currently, these homes are operating at 60 per cent capacity, with the council paying the cost for unused spaces. There are currently 36 service users that use The Vicarage. By consolidating the sites, the council can continue residential respite care into the future, whilst supporting more short breaks.

The three areas that cabinet is being asked to consider for the county to go out to consult on are:

  1. Increase the opportunity of short breaks for people with complex needs by having accommodation available that will make it possible for personal assistants to attend and support users during these breaks
  2. Part of increasing short breaks will mean the children's service, Family Link will be joined with the reshaped Shared Lives Service to offer more respite opportunities
  3. Reshaping current residential breaks to make sure that capacity meets demand. This is in light of the reduced number accessing residential breaks and the increase in day breaks.

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for long term care, said: "The county council is committed to providing short breaks to people who can't access breaks without our support.

"I think it is really important that adults with disabilities are able to enjoy a break that reflect their interests and that's exactly what we're proposing."

The proposed three month consultation will run from 1st July to 1st October if approved by cabinet in June. Cabinet will meet on 8th June to consider the recommendations.

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