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Cabinet Decision: 10th January 2013
Title of Item/Report
Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation Review of Learning Disability Services
Record of the Decision

The report of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee outlined the results of an in-depth review of learning disability services provided by Stockton Council. This had included an in-depth examination of the commissioning, care planning, and provision of adult social care services for people with learning disabilities.

The Council had a statutory obligation to meet identified need for those clients assessed as being eligible for services in line with the Council’s eligibility criteria for adult social care. Services provided must meet identified need, however the Council must also ensure that they were providing value for money. The Committee had found that there was scope to both improve the services that the Council provided or commissioned, at the same time as achieving better value for money.

The Committee’s proposals were approved in principle by Cabinet on 17th May 2012 and had been subject to 12-weeks of public consultation. The results of the consultation were summarised in the Committee’s report and the feedback was broadly supportive of the proposals. The Committee had finalised its proposals and made recommendations for change. There would be no changes to individual client circumstances without appropriate re-assessment and care planning.

Members noted that the recommendations had been informed by the Equality Impact Assessment, and this was attached to the report.

Members thanked the Adult Services and Health Select Committee and the Officers that had been involved in the review.

Carers, parents of the service users and service users were in attendance at the meeting and were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comment.


1. a new Learning Disability Commissioning Strategy be developed, and this should include the proposals outlined in recommendations 2-18;

2. there should be only one building based day service in the Borough, that this should focus on providing services for people with complex needs, and should be based at the Allensway building. Service users with complex needs currently receiving services at other locations in and out of the Borough (including Rievaulx Resource Centre) should be supported to move to Allensway;

3. service users who do not have complex needs should be supported to access services in community settings for example the existing models of Central Stockton Day Services, and Brighter Futures, and new provision in Billingham. This will include those currently accessing services in Allensway and Rievaulx;

4. the subsidy for meals in day services, where currently provided, should be discontinued, and that alternative cafe style/packed lunch options be further developed;

5. Brighter Futures be reviewed in order to ensure that service users move on from the service into other services where appropriate, and the aim of this service is to enable young adults (up to 25 years old) to access community based services;

6. out of Borough day care provision should not be commissioned unless the Council is satisfied that assessed needs cannot be met in the Borough;

7. service users who live in Borough but currently attend out of Borough day services, should be encouraged and supported to receive services in-Borough, subject to assessed needs being met, and commissioners should determine any requirement for additional provision in-Borough;

8. the Council should encourage the development of community business opportunities for service users;

9. subject to a successful outcome of the pilot, the Community Bridge Building scheme be rolled out on a permanent basis, in order to support individuals to achieve greater independence and integration into local communities, and that consideration be given to funding a transitions Bridge Building worker;

10. as a general principle the Council should enable more people with learning disabilities to have access to more independent living opportunities, and reduce the use of residential care. Residential care should be recommended when independent living would not meet assessed need or does not provide value for money;

11. for those whose assessed needs would still be best met through residential care, the Council should aim to increase the range of in-Borough placements to reduce the use of out of Borough placements;

12. where appropriate and following review, service users in out of Borough residential care should be encouraged and supported to use in-Borough residential care;

13. the Council should seek to increase the choice and range of affordable homes for independent living with appropriate care and support;

14. the Council should encourage and support those in residential care who are ready to move into independent living;

15. capacity in respite care at Lanark Close be increased whilst still making efficiency savings, increasing the number of beds from 6 to 9;

16. a menu of options for short break services be developed. These should be either commissioned by the Council or be accessible via personal budgets;

17. the Council works closely with the NHS including the Clinical Commissioning Group, to explore the provision of a joint respite facility for service users with more complex needs;

18. the Council should explore the commissioning of new autism provision in the Borough;

19. the improvements to care management and commissioning as outlined in the report, and included in the Working Practices Handbook, be implemented to ensure a successful implementation of the Committee’s recommendations and the proposed commissioning strategy.
Reasons for the Decision
As part of the Council’s programme of EIT reviews, and as part of the agreed scrutiny work programme for 2011-12 and 2012-13, the Select Committee had undertaken a review of Learning Disability services and the report outlined the findings of the review. This followed an interim report to Cabinet on 17 May 2012 and the subsequent period of public consultation.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 18th January 2013

Date of Publication: 14 January 2013

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