Thursday, 12 May 2011

Service users to have their say on proposals for residential and day care services

Older people across Leeds who use the council’s residential and day care centres will this week join the detailed debate over the future of individual centres and homes.

Letters have been sent out to all users of the service to explain that the council is now beginning the second stage of its city wide consultation, which focuses on the council’s 19 residential care homes and 16 day centres.

The letters explain that, following the completion of stage one of the consultation, options for each site are now being proposed to either:

• Keep the home or centre open as a specialist facility for people who are frail, disabled or living with dementia, or as a centre to provide intermediate care; or
• Close the home or centre and find alternative services in the area.

The options have been drawn up following an in-depth assessment of each home or centre taking account of customer profiles, occupancy levels, the availability of similar facilities in the surrounding area, the cost of running and repairs, and the overall condition of the building.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care, said:
“As a result of government spending cuts, the council is currently dealing with a huge financial challenge. Because of this we have to look closely at all of our services to make sure that we are able to provide the best possible care and support to our most vulnerable people with the limited funding available.

“We have examined all our services closely and come up with the most reasonable option for each one. Now we will talk directly to our customers, who will help us to make decisions about the services they use now – and will use in the future.”

The consultation process will formally begin on 16 May and will run until early August. Residents and service users, their families and carers will be offered one-to-one meetings with a dedicated team of social care staff, to help them understand the options on which they are being consulted and the choices available to them.

Councillor Yeadon continued:
“We have put in place a team of highly experienced and well-trained staff to help our customers through this process. No decisions have yet been made and none will be taken without having first heard the views of all of our customers and their families.

“We understand that people may be worried about being separated from the friends they have made over the years. I can assure them that we are going to do everything that we can to help friendship groups stay intact, and make sure that people can stay in touch with each other.

“A report will be prepared for the September meeting of the council’s executive board, who will take any final decisions.”

Notes for editors
The proposals being consulted on are:

Facilities proposed to remain open are Richmond House Residential Home, Harry Booth House Residential Home, Amberton Court Residential Home, Siegen Manor Residential Home, The Green Residential Home and Day Service, Middlecross Residential Home and Day Service, Calverlands Day Service, Laurel Bank Day Service, Springfield Day Service, Wykebeck Valley Day Service, Apna Day Service, and Frederick Hurdle Day Service.

The homes and day centres identified for possible closure are Grange Court Residential Home, Kirkland House Residential Home, Dolphin Manor Residential Home, Knowle Manor Residential Home, Westholme Residential Home, Spring Gardens Residential Home and Day Service, Firthfields Day Service, Lincolnfields Day Service, and Rose Farm Day Service.

Consideration will also be given to whether some of the centres could be reconfigured as specialist facilities to provide intermediate care, or care for people who are frail, disabled or living with dementia. To this end, officers are in discussions with service providers and partners over possible alternative uses or management arrangements.

Proposals for the remaining care homes and day centres have not yet been completed. Further work and consultation will be undertaken later in the year to allow a thorough analysis to be completed.

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Research studies into financial exclusion to be launched in Leeds

Two major research studies which look at the impact on poorer families of lack of access to affordable banking services and associated debt problems will be launched at a national conference in Leeds this week

The studies, which will be launched by Leeds City Council at the Civic Hall at 9.30am on Friday 13 May, look at the issue of financial exclusion and the negative impact it can have on families and communities.

The first study looks at life in deprived communities in the city and is a repeat of a study first undertaken in 2004. It reveals details of the impacts of the recession, brought about by the banking crisis, on families in a major city.

The survey results show that financial exclusion is now not only affecting traditionally financially excluded groups and areas, but also less deprived areas and households. The respondents from less deprived areas were less likely to save and have mainstream borrowing than respondents in the deprived areas surveyed in 2004. They were also more likely to have had an application for credit rejected, highlighting that financial exclusion is now affecting more people.

The second study examines and recommends a best practice model for commissioning money advice within health services. The study illustrates the clear link between debt and money worries and an individual’s health by bringing together evidence including:
• Macmillan Cancer Support’s study which found as a result of receiving help and money advice, clients described improvements in their health, in their cancer condition, and potential remission. They felt better; were less anxious, less stressed and less worried about money. (2010)
• Salford University’s study into the Economic Impact of Advice Services surveyed users of debt and money advice providers and found that 41% of clients in receipt of money advice believed the advice was linked to improvement in their health and 67% reported a reduction in stress. (2009)
• The Ministry of Justice researched the impact of debt advice over a 12 month period with 91% of clients reporting their health had been affected to some extent as a result of their money worries. (2007)

The study will be used to help guide the government’s new public health delivery mechanisms and develop greater links with GP commissioners’ wider health responsibilities.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for financial inclusion, said:
“I am pleased Leeds is providing national guidance on this very important issue. Leeds City Council is committed to narrowing the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged communities and tackling the impact of financial exclusion. These studies highlight the issues we are facing in the city as well as what can be done to tackle them and I am looking forward to listening to the views of the many experts who will be taking part in the conference.”

In 2007 Leeds City Council gained beacon status from the government for its work in promoting financial inclusion and debt management and has since been prominent in advising other local authorities and sharing best practice.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Speakers include:


Chair: Dr Cathy Read FFPH, consultant in public health, Department of Health

Councillor Richard Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council

Dr Karl Dayson, Salford University

Dave Roberts, financial inclusion manager, Leeds City Council

Suzanne Wigmore, external relations manager - DWP

Ian Willans, regional delivery manager, Money Advice Service

Keynote Speaker – Ed Balls MP, shadow chancellor (due to arrive between midday and 12.15pm)


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk