Learning Disabilities – Planning for the future

Need to keep the service “In-House”


At the moment Somerset County Council provides many of the services used by people with learning disabilities, and buys other services from independent organisations. The County Council provides about half the accommodation services people with learning disabilities use, and most of the services, such as day services, employment and short breaks. In February 2014 the Council will be making decisions about the best way to organise these services in the future. We would like to hear what you think, before we make these decisions.

At a meeting on the 11 September 2013, the Cabinet requested the consultation to help decide how the service will be managed in the future. The Council is exploring whether it should extend the amount of support delivered by other organisations, or keep the service as it is.

You can read the Cabinet report

This is appendix 1

This is a symbol/Total Communication version

We are holding 14 events around the county, some in Day Centres, and some in Community Buildings. The details of these sessions are below, if you want to attend, please either phone Cognisant Research on 01761 408165 or emailconsultation@cognisantresearch.com and if possible book a time to attend, so we can try to minimise the time people have to wait.

As well as writing to parents and carers we are also writing to service users, who have been sent an easy read version of our document. We would like to get as much feedback as possible, so if you would like to help the person you care for complete their form or attend an event, we would be grateful. We are also speaking with carer groups across Somerset. Somerset Advocacy will be attending most events to support people with a learning disability to understand the consultation and give their views.

The Consultation will close on 9 December 2013. If you need a paper copy of the questionnaire or a different format, for example a different language or large print, please contact Andrew Hedges, Change Officer, AGHedges@somerset.gov.uk 01823 357837.

The Council Cabinet will meet to consider the Business Case for the future of the service on 5 February 2014.

Our vision for future services

While we are proud of the learning disability services we currently provide for people, we want to make sure services are fit for the future and help them improve. Some of the services we provide were set up over 20 years ago and we think they are getting a little outdated. Many people using services for the first time choose services from providers independent of the Council.

We would like to see the following improvements in all learning disability services over the next few years:
People with learning disabilities and their families will have more control over their services
People with learning disabilities and their families can make more day to day choices
People with learning disabilities are helped to have the same opportunities as everyone else
The buildings people live in are high quality and fit for purpose
Services are good value for money

Before the Council decides how best to organise these services in the future, we would like your views on the following options.

1. Leave things as they are. The Learning Disabilities Provider Service would continue to be owned and run by the County Council.

2. Somerset County Council to create a new organisation that is separate from the Council, for example a publicly owned trust or not for profit organisation, and transfer all or some of the Learning Disabilities Provider Service to that new organisation.

3. Ask other care providers to bid to take over some or all of the Learning Disabilities Provider Service.

Your comments are important to us. If you would like to know more please contact Cognisant Research at consultation@cognisantresearch.com or by phoning 01761 408165.

As part of the review of Learning Disability Services you may feel that you need the support of an Advocate. An Advocate can, amongst other things, help you understand what is being said, make sure your views and opinions are heard, and secure your rights.

Total Advocacy is a free, independent and confidential service supporting a wide range of people across Somerset, including individuals with Learning Disabilities and unpaid carers. If you would like to access this service and/or discuss your issues with them, please phone 01823 339494 or email TotalAdvocacy@a4e.co.uk
Total Advocacy leaflet

Easy read version

clipboard image

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