Securing the future for Oxfordshire’s daytime support services

Oxfordshire County Council is proposing a new daytime support system that will enable older people and people with disabilities to live independently in their community.

The new proposals include a guaranteed core service for people who require daytime support, alongside financial support to enable community-based services to continue to flourish.

People with assessed needs who receive help from Oxfordshire County Council’s adult social services would continue to receive support under a new proposed structure for daytime support in the county.

You'll be able to read and comment on the proposals from November 1

The council values day time support services run by volunteers and will continue to support these services while encouraging new community initiatives to be launched. Three-quarters of all community-based services do not receive funding from the county council so would be unaffected by the changes.

The county council has listened to more than 600 people who use services and carers to understand their priorities and develop a new approach.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat said: “Daytime support helps many people stay connected to their friends and communities. We want to ensure these services can continue on a solid footing for the future.

“Through volunteers and community groups there is already a thriving daytime support network in Oxfordshire – three-quarters of these groups receive no council funding at all. I have listened to many people who use these services so I know how much this support means to them. I am confident that with our support these services will continue to flourish.

“We also want to help those who want to create new services. We hope to create more choice of day services from voluntary and private sector organisations. Advice, support and grants will all be available to make this happen.

“At the same time, the county council will guarantee a core service for people who have assessed eligible needs for social care support.”

Resilient network of services

Cllr Heathcoat added: “Despite the need for financial savings we embark on this change with an ambition to create a resilient network of services that expands what is currently on offer in Oxfordshire. We look forward to hearing the views of local people having already had a lot of feedback from providers.

“Savings come from changing the way we deliver services. There’d be fewer council-run buildings and we’d save money on transport while providing a more flexible transport system delivered by support workers.

“We have created a separate innovation fund to help groups get started or expand their service. That will help the community sector to grow.”

What would the new service look like?

The county council would continue to provide a core service for people who are eligible for social care support, which makes sure they have the care and support they need. It would be a countywide service with a wide range of flexible, costed support options. The council would replace its current Health and Wellbeing Centres and Learning Disability Daytime Support services (22 building-based services) with this service. There would be two potential options:

1. A centre based service delivered from eight dedicated buildings (Oxford, Banbury, Didcot, Witney, Bicester, Wantage, Abingdon, Wallingford) providing support and outreach work. The bases would provide multi-functional spaces for people.

2. A mixed service provided to four geographical areas in Oxfordshire (city, north, south and west). This would use community facilities such as libraries, leisure centres and allotments and have four dedicated buildings (Oxford, Banbury, Didcot and Witney) to ensure there are sufficient specialist facilities and safe spaces for people who need them.

The council’s Dementia Support Service provides support to people with dementia and their families across Oxfordshire through Dementia Advisors. It provides face-to-face support to an average of 120 people per week. This service would continue to be funded.

The council’s Wellbeing and Employment Service, “OxForward” provides support to people over the age of 18 with learning disabilities, autism and physical disabilities. It supports 700 people each year providing opportunites such as moving in to and maintaining volunteering roles and employment. The council proposes this should continue with its existing budget.

The council would replace its current annual funding for 47 community-based daytime support services with grant pots totalling £250,000 a year, which services could bid for under two categories. Funding is not currently linked to any system based on actual need. The council believes it can reduce overall funding and would target it at those services that would be unsustainable without it, plus those services that wish to innovate via:

Innovation Fund
The council proposes to provide one-off grant funding to establish self-sustaining new services to fill gaps in the market. There will be a grant pot of £125,000.

Sustainability Fund

We propose to provide grants to enable the ongoing delivery of daytime support services in areas of high need. There will be a grant pot of £125,000

Oxfordshire County Council would continue to work with the Age UK-provided Community Information Network service. In the event that changes are agreed to daytime support, the Community Information Network would prioritise working with people affected by changes helping manage a personalised transition from current daytime support services for those people who do not have eligible needs.


Notes to editors

  • Savings to the council on the £9.3m of services currently described above would be either £2.4m or £3.4m depending on which options are taken forward.

Changes to services would begin in August 2017. The consultation will be launched on November 1 and will be presented to the county council’s cabinet early in the New Year