Hertfordshire County Council is seeking people's views about its proposals to change how short breaks (respite) care services in the county are provided for adults with disabilities, to save money and address issues about under-occupancy and booking places.
The service involves the person being cared for staying at one of the Council’s short breaks facilities to give their relative or whoever normally cares for them some respite.
The Council currently offers short respite breaks at eight places around Hertfordshire with up to 48 beds available. The service is accessed by around 330 people with physical and learning disabilities each year.
One of the proposals is to close three units – Hixberry Lane in St Albans, Isabel Court in Hoddesdon, and Tewin Road in Hemel Hempstead – which provide 13 beds. This would save the Council around £900,000 a year, but would still mean people can access a facility within 15 miles of where they live.
The Council is also seeking views about:
• Improving the way people can book a short break – making it simpler, faster and as flexible as possible; and
• Improving access and availability of suitable short break support for crisis situations.
The changes are being suggested following a Council review that found that the respite services are under-used – around 40% of beds not being occupied – but are being paid for. The Council said people are using Direct Payments to source alternative care arrangements instead. In addition, the breaks are not always suitable for the people that need to use them.
The Council has stated that any decision made will not affect the amount of respite you, or the person you care for are eligible for and we are not proposing to reduce the types of short break support available – but people may have to travel somewhere different to access their break.
The consultation runs until midnight on 7th November 2019 and Hertfordshire County Councillors are due to meet to make a decision in early December. You can take part at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/consultations or direct via this link - Hertfordshire County Council's Short Breaks (Respite) Consultation 2019.There are also some consultation events planned around the county, details of these are below.
If you need help completing the questionnaire or would like the consultation documents in other formats you can email or call your local adult disability social care team. The numbers are as follows:
Dacorum: 01442 454444
East Herts and Broxbourne: 01438 843111
Hertsmere: 01442 454242
North Herts and Stevenage: 0143 843222
St Albans: 01442 454300
Watford and Three Rivers: 01442 454343
Welwyn and Hatfield: 01438 843600.
Wednesday 11th September 2019, 1pm-3pm at Bishop’s Stortford Library, The Causeway, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 2EJ.
Friday 13th September 2019, 6pm-8pm at the Jarman Centre, Old Crabtree Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 4EX.
Monday 16th September 2019, 2pm-4pm at the Performing Arts Central Stocks Unit, Centrapark, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1HT.
Tuesday 17th September 2019, 10am-12pm noon at St Thomas’ Church Hall, 103 Bedford Road, Letchworth, Herts, SG6 4DU.
Thursday 26th September 2019, 6pm-8pm at the Jarman Centre, Old Crabtree Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP2 4EX.
Tuesday 15th October 2019, 2pm-4pm at Watford Central Library Lecture Hall, Hempstead Road, Watford, Herts, WD17 3EU.
Thursday 24th October 2019, 1pm-3pm at St Nicholas Community Centre (Main Hall), 59 Canterbury Way, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 4LJ.
Wednesday 30th October 2019, 1pm-3pm at Fleetville Community Centre, Royal Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4LQ.
Friday 1st November 2019, 2pm-4pm at Kings Langley Services Club, Kings Langley, Herts, WD4 8BJ.