Column: Exploring new ways to deliver day services for people who need our care
The Covid-19 pandemic had a particular impact on people receiving social care support and their carers, says Coun Boyd Elliott, chairman of Nottinghamshire’s adult social care and public health committee.
During lockdown, we had to close our day service buildings and find different ways to offer support.
One benefit of this was that we found some innovative new ways to offer our services, such as through digital technology, small-scale local community responses or by supporting people with a personal assistant or Shared Lives carer.
Shared Lives is similar to foster care but for adults. and paid carers support people to live as independently as possible in the community.
Now things are opening up again, we don’t want to return to how things were before.
We want to continue offering flexible day opportunities for people in the community that aren’t just restricted to nine-to-five hours during the week.
We want people with social care needs to have the same opportunities to access leisure and employment, either by giving them the skills and confidence to use services independently, or by being supported by a worker.
This is what people who use our services and their carers have told us they want for the future.
We have used their feedback to develop our Day Opportunities Strategy, which is now open for consultation. We now need your views about our new strategy.
Our previous day services were offered to around 1,500 people mainly in day service buildings. These include older people, people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, dementia, autism and mental health needs.
Our vision is for an inclusive society where people with social care needs are part of their local community, learning new skills, making friends, gaining employment and making a positive contribution.
The strategy proposes four levels of support, but the ambition will always be to focus on a person’s individual strengths and helping them to be as independent as possible.
We recognise that some people with higher levels of need will still require the specialist support offered by our day services, but we also want to offer more diverse opportunities for people to learn new skills and hobbies in their communities.
I encourage anyone who uses our services, or may use them in the future, to give their views as part of our consultation process.
Find out more and have your say at https://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/dayserviceconsult or by phoning 0300 500 80 80.
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