Chance to shape the future of social care at consultation

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: CLEAR VISION: Sidney Gale House CLEAR VISION: Sidney Gale House

PLANS to transform adult social care in Bridport are to go out for public consultation.

Councillors claim no decision has been made and it wants the public to help shape the future of the service.

Cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Jill Haynes presented a paper on the issue at a meeting of Dorset County Council’s cabinet and told members that a review of the authority’s property portfolio in the town was launched back in February.

She said a number of the council’s buildings were deemed ‘old and unfit for purpose’ but before any decisions are made on the future of the properties it was important to establish what kind of service was needed for the community moving forward.

The council has allocated a budget of £4.7million for the project and the next stage will see in-depth consultation with the community on a number of options.

Coun Haynes said: “It is essential we work with the local community to provide a clear vision for the future and provide a comprehensive service plan for adult social services.”

She added that, in terms of specialist housing and accommodation for older people, initial feedback suggested Sidney Gale House was a highly valued facility in the town but the limitations of the building meant staff found it difficult to meet the needs of people with nursing requirements and dementia.

Options in the consultation include keeping Sidney Gale House open for the next five to seven years and to meet the increasing demand for people with dementia and nursing needs through the independent sector.

Other options include replacing Sidney Gale with a similar 60-bed facility with a private partner or working with a partner to develop a purpose built extra care facility with dementia units.

Coun Haynes stressed that, whatever option is selected, residents of Sidney Gale House could be assured they will not be moved until suitable alternative accommodation is in place for them.

Options for the future of day care services include bringing existing services together under one roof to form a ‘hub’ or seeking another organisation to deliver adult social care on the council’s behalf with a longer term vision of creating a community hub.

Coun Haynes said that the options in the consultation were not the only ones that would be considered.

Council leader Spencer Flower said: “There is an opportunity here for the public to help shape the future of the service.”

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