Review of BCP Council day care could shut some services
A REVIEW of day care opportunities in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area could lead to the permanent closure of some services.
Several day care units have been closed since the start of the Covid pandemic and although many have since reopened, several remain shut, writes Trevor Bevins of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The future of three of those is currently being discussed, and a paper outlining proposals is expected to be completed in December this year.
A council report into future services, submitted to the health and adult social care overview and scrutiny committee, referred to "day opportunities" rather than services, centres or care facilities.
It pointed out that the wider term takes into account everything from opportunities to learn new skills, supported employment, volunteering and making friendships.
It said the new strategy will evolve with the help of service users and partners which run them.
It said: “BCP Council recognises that people value day opportunities and therefore we want to develop and co-produce a new day opportunities strategy to meet the needs of local people which enables them to live active, healthy lives as independently as possible.
"The council recognises that carers, parents, and guardians of those who access day opportunities rely on these services to reduce the likelihood of carer breakdown.
"Day opportunities provide much needed short-term respite for carers to continue their role."
Councillors will be told that the already extensive demand for services is set to increase with the number of over-65s expected to rise in the BCP area by 6% (25,300 people) by 2028.
There is also set to be 900 children and young people over the age of 16 who have an education, health and care plan and more than 5,500 registered carers.
The report added: “With the projected increase in the demand for social care, thinking differently about how to respond to that demand, and how care and support services will be delivered now and in the future will be crucial in delivering these priorities.”
It pointed out the council spends around £6.5m a year on contracted day services with the council trading company, Tricuro, expected to account for over £5m of day services block contracts in 2022/23.
Three of the eight day services offered by Tricuro have still not reopened.
Many day services in the area are also contracted independently by people who receive direct payments.