Is closure on the cards for Brighton and Hove's day centres?

Posted On 04 Jan 2010 at 8:16 pm

Brighton and Hove’s day centres are to be the subject of a consultation which could see them closed.

Brighton and Hove City Council is to start a consultation with staff, unions and partner organisations next Monday on the future of the city’s adult social care day services and its five day centres.

It says that demand for the centres is falling with some running at just above half-capacity and one below half-capacity.

It also says that people want more choice and control over which services they receive and where.

Councillor Ken Norman, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Our day services are popular with the people who still use them. But faced with the current situation anyone – be it in the public or private sector – would have to take a long, hard look at whether things can be done differently and better.

“Many people who need social care day services want more options than simply attending a day centre. If they’re feeling isolated, for example, they might prefer to be helped to visit a relative, go to the cinema or a local gardening club, or simply meet friends for lunch.

“We and the organisations we work with are committed to giving people more choices like these, and we now need to look closely at how best to manage the limited resources at our disposal to achieve this.

“Whatever happens, we will continue to provide services for people who need them.”

The consultation follows a decision made at last month’s cabinet meeting to give everyone eligible for adult social services a personal budget to spend on services that they want from the 2010-11 financial year, to make estimated savings of £410,000.

The report said: “Carers generally welcome this approach because the person is given access to a much wider range of services. Research shows that in most cases the costs are reduced . . . As a result savings of £410,000 can be made by individuals making more cost effective decisions about services which are more tailored to their needs, maximising individual benefits and other sources of income.”

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