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Telford council reviewing services for adults with learning disabilities

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | News | Published:

Services for adults with learning disabilities are being reviewed by Telford & Wrekin Council.

The council has begun a six-week engagement on the subject

The council says the review is about helping the 500 people who use its services to maximise their opportunities – through work, or social involvement.

A variety of forms of support are currently provided by the authority, including at three day centres run by the council.

Councillor Andy Burford, the authority's cabinet member for health and social care, and Sarah Dillon, assistant director of adult social care, said they were beginning a six-week engagement with people who use the services and their families.

The results will be used to develop proposals, which will then go out to consultation between June and September.

Councillor Burford said the plans were categorically not about budget cuts, or a method of closing day centres.

He said the focus was on making sure people who use the service are given the maximum opportunity in their lives.

"It has not even crossed our minds to close centres," said Councillor Burford.

He added: "This is progressive thinking. We are not the only authority looking at things in this way, but the thinking is these days you do not just need to be sitting back and providing a service to people year on year.

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"What you need to do is look ahead and think what will provide the independence for them, and give them satisfaction in their lives.

"The danger is the service can get stuck in a rut."

Ms Dillon said they would be involving an advocacy service to ensure people could respond in the best way possible.

She added: "What we know is new people coming into the service are wanting new and different things.

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"They have the same level of need but the opportunities are different and that is what this is about, what are those opportunities going forward."

Ms Dillon said part of the idea was trying to give people more independence.

She said: "We want to make sure that we are truly making sure people can live an independent life. Are we helping them achieve their independence in the best way possible?"

Mr Burford added: "We want people with a learning disability, their families and carers to receive the assistance they need in a way that enhances their independence and enables them to lead meaningful, valued lives in their own communities.

“We want to understand what adults with learning disabilities need to live as independently as possible with the right support in place.

“Adults with learning disabilities should have the opportunity to live happy, healthy, safe and independent lives, be respected and have choice and control over their decisions, including getting out and about and going to work.

“We want as many of you as possible to give us your feedback so we can then develop a local Adults with Learning Disability Strategy which will help us deliver our responsibilities as well as meeting local needs.”

People can take part from today by visiting telford.gov.uk/ld

The council said the engagement will run until 9am on Monday, April 14.

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