New era for daytime support in Oxfordshire

A new system of delivering daytime support services in Oxfordshire is all set to come in to operation on October 1 with the council aiming to ensure that core services are secure for the future.

Eight new centres will provide support for more than 500 older people or people with a learning disability who have been assessed as having an eligible need and some other people who do not have an assessed need.

The changes follow a consultation with service users and their families in late 2016 in which they were given the opportunity to have a wide-ranging input in to how the new service should take shape.

Within the council’s new £4.5m service there are 1,600 days of support per week (3,200 sessions) being provided across the eight locations.

Each of the eight centres will have its own fleet of family-size vehicles, some of which will be adapted. These will be used to transport people to and from the centres and will be driven by staff from the Community Support Service. The council has set up a special hub to ensure a smooth transition during the early days of the new system.

There will be a number of options for meals, including: staff supporting people to eat out at a local café, cooking as part of a small group, paying towards a group meal prepared by others, a simple hot meal prepared by staff, and people bringing in their own pre-prepared meal or light lunch if they wish to.

Oxfordshire County Council has been working with each person currently using council services to support them through the change. This has been achieved through council staff working in partnership with Age UK Oxfordshire’s Community Information Network.

Support is being personalised, meaning that staff have been working with people to plan their support to meet their individual needs.

Age UK Oxfordshire’s Community Information Network have worked with people who had been accessing directly-run county council day centres and who weren’t known to adult social care to help them find alternative solutions in Oxfordshire’s thriving voluntary and community sector.

Director for Adult Social Care Kate Terroni said: “As demand for social care grows and government funding reduces, we are making sure that our core service is secure for the future. We’ve been working hard on this change during 2017 and we’re looking forward to the new service bedding in.

“We always said that people with eligible needs would be offered a place at the eight new council run centres and that is exactly what we have delivered. Indeed the 508 people assessed as having eligible needs in the new system is higher than the 471 attending the previous network of 22 daytime support facilities.

“Oxfordshire’s voluntary sector daytime support network is strong and well respected. There are around 200 facilities and we have been working with Age UK’s Community Information Network to ensure that people who attended our 22 centres without having an eligible need have been offered alternative arrangements.”

Penny Thewlis, Chief Executive of Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “This has been a big change for some people, many of whom have been anxious and unsettled by it. We’ve worked very closely with the county council over recent months and with people affected by the change to ensure that nobody is left without daytime support options. We will continue to do so over the coming months until everyone is happily settled. Now we need to give the new system time to take shape and bed in.”

Where are the eight centres?

Audlett Drive, Abingdon

Neithrop Avenue, Banbury

Launton Road, Bicester

Britwell Road, Didcot

Agward Stone Road, Horspath Driftway, Oxford

High Street, Wallingford

Charlton Village Road, Wantage

Moorland Road, Witney