Victory for day centre campaign

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VICTORY is in sight for Mercury readers who fought to protect day care services provided by Lincolnshire County Council.

Almost 500 readers sent in coupons which we forwarded to the council in protest at plans for services to close.

Now the council is proposing to keep services running and try to bring in private firms to take over the running with existing staff.

Terry Hawkins, Interim Assistant Director for Adult Social Care Commissioning, said:‪“We have listened to what people have told us about what they trust, value and want. Consequently, rather than physically closing existing centres from which such support is provided, we’re recommending a model which sees centres and services stay open if well utilised, with existing staff or private firms supported to continue running them in the same buildings.

“Whilst the fact remains that, in these tough times, the authority cannot continue to directly run or commission services which may result in double-funding or places not being used, we remain committed to providing access to support which meets people’s needs. What we’ve learned from our extensive consultation is that a building and the set-up is just as important to people as the services themselves.

“We will therefore be using resources and a support team to help empower people to take control and continue to have their needs met in a way of their choosing. We’ll be looking to achieve this by March 2014 - and will continue to run each service until alternatives are available.”

For the 31 day centres across the county, the proposal is that while the county council no longer directly provide the services, it will work to keep buildings open and support existing staff or a private business who wish to take the centre on as a viable support service.

With community supported living – help for people to live independently at home – 75 per cent of people are already getting their services from the private market and the authority is confident that the remaining 125 people currently receiving support from the in-house service can do likewise.

The consultation report and its recommendations will now be discussed by the authority’s Adult Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, February before going to its executive for a final decision on March 6.

See full story see Friday’s Mercury.