£1.5 million investment proposed for Liverpool’s social care

A PROPOSAL to spend almost £1.5 million as part of transforming adult social care in Liverpool is to be considered by the city council’s Cabinet on Friday (July 9).

It follows the start of consultation on plans to amalgamate 12 day centres and three residential care homes into six new “Health and Wellbeing Super Centres” in neighbourhoods across the city.
Three will be round-the-clock facilities in the north, centre and south providing a total of 85 intermediate care and crisis beds, while a further three will be community ‘hubs’ in the north, centre and south, providing intensive health and social care support, advice on employment and housing, and a place for people to meet and hold events.
The council is now being asked to approve funding to create the first wave of centres. Under the proposals:

·        Sedgemoor Care Home in Norris Green is set to become a round the clock unit which will also provide support for people with dementia and their families
·        Lime Court Day Centre in Kensington will become the first of the community ‘hubs’, open 12 hours per day, seven days per week

Staff and people who currently use Lime Court have been involved in discussions since February on the design and the type of facilities it will provide.
Councillor Roz Gladden, cabinet member for adult health and social care, said: “This is a significant investment in creating new facilities as part of our proposals to transform adult social care.
“The money we are spending on Lime Court will give people a clear idea of what we want to achieve with the three community hubs, creating a place where people can get not just health and social care support but also assistance with housing, employment and training.
“The investment in Sedgemoor will help us keep people out of hospital, out of residential care and help get them back on their feet and back home. It will also specifically support those with dementia, which is forecast to affect significantly more people in the future because we have an increasingly ageing population.”

The proposal is part of the council’s aim to increase choice, promote independence and improve the quality of life for vulnerable people, rather than having to choose from a rigid list of council services.

Over the last few years there has been a huge drop in demand for the council’s in-house services, with many day centres now half empty as a result of people choosing their own care and support under direct payments and the personalisation of social care.

A root and branch review of the council’s in-house social care service which covers everything from learning disabilities to home care, day services, supported accommodation, residential care and occupational therapy is underway.
The role of the workforce will change, with staff in the in-house service increasingly becoming advocates to support and promote independence, rather than doing the work themselves.

Overall, there will be a significant increase in the number of people being supported – up from 1756 to 2606.

It will be paid for by ploughing the money saved from decommissioning the buildings and reducing staff into direct payments and the personalisation of services.
Cllr Gladden added: “I am keen that we hear from everyone affected as part of the consultation process and that they have a chance to influence and shape the new services.
“The conversations we are having will help guide the type of support we give the people who receive services and their carers through any changes that we make over the next three years.
“We have to create a service which is fit for the 21st century rather than based around social care legislation which is more than sixty years old.
“We want to unlock the money spent maintaining half empty buildings and re-invest it in providing support for more people.”

An independent scrutiny panel is being set up to oversee the consultation process.