Skip to main content

1 Ledbury Road

This page will provide updates on 1 Ledbury Road in Hereford, including council statements, FAQs, meeting minutes and relevant information.

15 September 2016

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet has today (Thursday 15 September) agreed to proceed with the re-commissioning of short break services for children with disabilities. The re-commissioning process will commence this year with contracts due to be awarded early next year ready to commence on 1 April 2017.

The services we propose to commission have been fully developed in consultation with families of children with disabilities, especially those with substantial care needs, to ensure they have as much choice, control and flexibility as possible to meet their individual assessed needs in different ways.

Cabinet also agreed to allocate funding of up to £450,000 a year to the county’s short breaks programme from 2017/18 to 2019/20.

To find out more, please read the full Cabinet report.

19 August 2016

Wye Valley NHS Trust has informed the council of its intention not to tender for any aspect of the overnight short breaks provision when the current contract ends on 31 March 2017.

We accept the trust’s decision not to continue running the service at 1 Ledbury Road.  The council will continue its current re-commissioning process to further develop the county’s short breaks market, ensuring there are a range of ways to meet the assessed needs of children with disabilities.

Over the past 12 months, the council has invested an additional £600,000 into the short breaks budget, whilst further development of the short breaks market in Herefordshire continues.  This includes daytime activities, buddying, family-based overnight breaks, alternative residential options and direct payments to allow families to make their own arrangements.  This means that fewer families are using 1 Ledbury Road, as their assessed needs are being met through alternative services.

The additional funding also allowed the council to take over the contract for 1 Ledbury Road from the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group for one year until 31 March 2017, whilst the re-commissioning process is completed.

From 2017, it is expected that up to 12 children will need to access residential short breaks each year for a total of around 550 nights, approximately half the number of nights currently provided at 1 Ledbury Road.

Councillor Jonathan Lester, Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing, said: “We are grateful to Wye Valley NHS Trust for the short breaks service it has provided at 1 Ledbury Road and the support the trust and its staff have given to local children and families over the years.

“Once the re-commissioning process has concluded later in the year and we know which services will be in place, we will discuss directly with families how children can smoothly move to the new services.  This will include any necessary contingency planning, which is standard practice for the council, in case there is a gap between one service ending and another starting.  We will continue to ensure that children’s individual assessed needs are effectively met now and in the future.”

23 June 2016

As part of our re-commissioning of short breaks, we've produced a range of questions and answers, which cover the following areas:

  • Children, young people and families
  • Services from 2017
  • Money, funding and costs
  • The re-commissioning process

We also recently carried out a telephone survey with families that have used short break services for children with disabilities, to find out about their experiences, outcomes and preferences for the future.

To find out more, please visit

9 May 2016

The council has a duty to ensure there is a sufficient range of short breaks services available to meet the needs of children with disabilities and their carers in the county. We do this through our ‘short breaks offer’.

To find out more about how we're re-commissioning our short breaks offer, please read our short breaks offer update.

29 April 2016

1 Ledbury Road 2016/2017 contract arrangements

The council has listened closely to the views of families accessing 1 Ledbury Road and will continue to do so. In addition to individual care planning meetings with families, over the last 18 months there have been several public and private meetings with parent groups, a scrutiny task group enquiry and a formal six week consultation. 

The council and Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) are endeavouring to balance families’ views, preferences and assessed needs in a complex environment with the needs and preferences of other children and families, available resources and service capabilities. We recognise that for some children and parents we are able to fully meet their preferences, but for some they may not be satisfied with what is put in place. This is different from not meeting the needs of the child and their families.

The council has entered into a £500,000 contract with Wye Valley NHS Trust to provide overnight short breaks at 1 Ledbury Road in 2016/17. Both organisations have made every effort to implement the best service possible within local conditions that include the total assessed number of nights required, the available resources and the employment terms and conditions of staff at 1 Ledbury Road. The service will provide over 900 nights of care for up to 15 children with disabilities, which is more than sufficient to meet each child’s assessed need.

Service rotas

As Wye Valley NHS Trust moves the service towards a more outcomes focussed model and complies with Ofsted regulations, there will be changes to the way the service is delivered. The importance of consistency is recognised by both organisations and we will continue to work closely with individual families to understand and minimise the impact of any change.

The service is in a three month transitional period and the intention is to produce quarterly rotas as from July, instead of the current monthly arrangement. A quarterly rota will make overnight short breaks more consistent.

As part of the new contract, it is the council’s intention that families should be more involved in planning their annual allocation of nights at 1 Ledbury Road. This needs to be seen in the context of meeting the broad range of needs of a small number of children to ensure they’re safely placed with other children whilst accommodating the competing preferences of families and operating within WVTs staffing arrangements and opening times.

As far as possible, provisional service rotas will consider family preferences for particular dates or nights. For example, the service has already been able to meet some requests for specific nights or avoided particular nights at the request of a family. Some families will experience some change as the service has moved from four nights a week to three.

The new contract requires WVT to share the provisional rota with the council, so it can be assured that the assessed needs of children are being met before it is discussed with families. At this point, families can ask for their provisional rota to be amended to better suit their preferences and WVT will consider if such requests can be accommodated alongside the needs of other children using the service.

Regrettably, the provisional rota that was sent to families for May 2016 had not been approved by WVT management nor shared with the council. As soon this this issue came to light, WVT took immediate action to withdraw and correct the rota to follow the agreed process above. Wye Valley NHS Trust has contacted the families concerned to apologise for the error and has assured the council that it is taking further action internally to prevent such a situation being repeated.

The council’s children with disabilities (CWD) team will continue to have regular contact with individual families, with a child’s care plan being reviewed on a six monthly basis. They will also help young people to prepare for the changes they will experience as they move into adulthood. We encourage families to raise any questions or concerns about their child’s care plan and short breaks directly with their social worker in the first instance, then Eve Schneidewind (CWD team manager) on 01432 260859 or Gurinder Rayat (CWD service manager) on 01432 383739 for any remaining questions.

Re-commissioning Herefordshire’s short break service for 2017

A range of existing service contracts for the provision of daytime and overnight short breaks will come to an end in March 2017, which could mean that some services end or change to better meet local need. The council is undertaking a re-commissioning project to deliver sufficient short break services and it is important that families take the opportunity to contribute to this process over the next year. We will provide further information shortly at

8 March 2016

The six week 1 Ledbury Road consultation, which sought views on proposed changes to the way short break services are contracted and delivered from April 2016 to March 2017, concluded on Friday 19 February.

Thank you to those who took time to respond to our questionnaire, either online or via e-mail, and attended our consultation events. We received a total of 26 responses, including 13 from families of children with disabilities, the general findings were:

  • 91.7% of the respondents agreed that access to overnight short breaks should be based on a professional assessment of a child’s needs

  • There is general support for the council contracting Wye Valley NHS Trust to run the service in 2016/2017, although it was suggested that this should be for more than 12 months and should allow for new referrals

  • In addition to the support to contract the service in 2016/2017, five families disagreed with any proposals that meant the service either wouldn’t return to historic levels of provision or that imply change or closure as a possible outcome

  • Seven respondents acknowledged that there are different types of services available, which could be developed within Herefordshire’s range of daytime and overnight short breaks

  • There is acknowledgement that there is a place for family-based overnight short breaks on the basis that it may not be appropriate for all children

  • Regular updates about the availability of family-based short breaks would help families to make informed decisions

  • Direct payments, and the services they can be used to purchase, need more development and explanation

  • Less than half of responding families thought the council should secure value for money from short breaks services and that meeting assessed need should be the primary factor

  • There were a range of responses which suggested that some questions were ambiguous, leading or biased

  • The issue of potential new referrals was also raised during the consultation. A priority for 2016/17 continues to be stabilising services for users of 1 Ledbury Road, to ensure their assessed needs are met; this will be the main focus in relation to 1 Ledbury Road.

    The proposed 2016 to 2017 contract for 1 Ledbury Road does not preclude new referrals being made; however each year, there may be a small number of children that need access to an overnight short break for the first time.

    The needs of a child are always assessed on an individual basis with them and their family, rather than an automatic pathway to any particular service and as part of a child’s assessment, the social worker will discuss the range of appropriate short break services available.

    If a short break is to be arranged to support the family and meet the statutory responsibilities via a local authority contract, access to the service will need to be agreed by children’s social care services. Any short breaks provider would be expected to determine whether they are able to meet a child’s needs safely before any service is offered or agreed.

What happens next?

We have been working with Wye Valley NHS Trust on the details of a contract for 1 Ledbury Road for 2016/2017 and whilst there is some minor detail to be confirmed, a formal decision is expected to be taken soon. We will notify you as soon as it’s available.

To find out more about the findings, please read the full 1 Ledbury Road consultation results.

8 February 2016

The council is delighted with the success of a recent open morning on 23 January, which saw 16 families discussing the possibility of becoming short breaks carers.

To find out more, please visit our newsroom.

11 January 2016

Herefordshire Council, supported by the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is seeking your views on proposed changes to the way that short break services are contracted and delivered at 1 Ledbury Road from April 2016 to March 2017. 

The consultation is available from Monday 11 January to Friday 19 February.

The consultation is now closed, but details are available on our 1 Ledbury Road consultation page.

6 January 2016

Herefordshire Council is continuing to work with families and partner organisations to secure short break and respite provision at 1 Ledbury Road for up to 12 months.  The council is currently looking at funding and commissioning arrangements and as part of this will be consulting on the new proposals.  

The consultation will begin the week commencing Monday 11 January to Friday 19 February with all feedback informing future decisions.  The council’s Cabinet will consider a report on the proposals for the future of 1 Ledbury Road on Thursday 21 January 2016.


17 December 2015

I made a commitment earlier this year regarding the need to ensure that there would not be a ‘cliff edge’ at the end of March 2016, should alternative services not be in place for families using 1 Ledbury Road.

I will be making recommendations to Cabinet in January that from 1 April 2016, the council becomes the lead commissioner for respite provision at 1 Ledbury Road and that a contract of up to 12 months is established from this date. This will create more time for further development to meet children’s and families needs, which is something that parents have requested.

The shape and scope of that provision will be subject to further discussions between the council, Wye Valley NHS Trust, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and importantly the families and children. On this latter point, it is hoped to begin more detailed discussions with families in early January. These discussions are aided by the work of the scrutiny task group.

Councillor Jonathan Lester
Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing

15 December 2015

Christmas and New Year opening

1 Ledbury Road will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, as it is every year.

The centre will close at 11am on Christmas Eve until 3pm on Saturday 2 January, when it will be open for one evening before closing at 2pm on Sunday 3 January, as per the normal weekly schedule.

The normal Wednesday to Sunday service will commence on Wednesday 6 January.

14 December 2015

Health and social care overview and scrutiny committee today (Monday 14 December) met to consider the findings of a task and finish group report on short break and respite services for children with disabilities.

The committee unanimously agreed all of the recommendations contained within the report and these will now be considered by Councillor Jonathan Lester, Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing.

Councillor Lester said: “I listened to all of the discussion with interest and I thank members for giving this matter the consideration it deserves.  Thank you to the task and finish group and all those who contributed to the process; I shall respond in the New Year.”

14 December 2015

On Friday 11 December, Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire CCG and Wye Valley NHS Trust met with those parents considering legal action in respect of 1 Ledbury Road. 

The meeting was helpful with all sides understanding the steps that are being put in place to plan to develop appropriate services for 1 Ledbury Road.  The council, CCG and parents have agreed to work together in the next few months to try to resolve the existing issues around this service.  

12 November 2015

We've updated our frequently asked questions and FOI responses.

16 October 2015

We've updated our frequently asked questions.

5 October 2015

Families with children at 1 Ledbury Road have been informed of changes to the service to ensure children can be cared for safely at the centre.

Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs the facility, had to close the unit for 48 hours last week when some members of the small specialist team became ill.

The new arrangements mean the trust is able to offer a more sustainable service and letters have gone out to all families explaining the changes and the reasons for them.

Vanessa Lewis, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s manager of the service, said: “We’ve apologised to the families for the inconvenience the temporary closure caused last week.

“These new arrangements ensure we will have the right staff to manage the service safely.

“We have assured parents that the safety of the children is our priority and Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the trust all recognise that change for some children and their families can be difficult.

“We need to move to new arrangements so that the service is more resilient and better able to cope with staff sickness.”

Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Wye Valley NHS Trust continue to work together to ensure that overnight respite care is still provided for those children currently accessing 1 Ledbury Road while the broader redesign of the short breaks service is taking place.

Joint statement from WVT, the council and the CCG

2 October 2015

Senior officers from Herefordshire Council and Wye Valley NHS Trust met with the Save Number 1 Parents Group this afternoon to confirm that the facility will re-open today and discussed the current situation and service offer.

The temporary closure of 1 Ledbury Road due to staff illness was beyond the control of Wye Valley NHS Trust and as it has a duty to provide safe care for its patients, it took the difficult decision to close the facility.

29 September 2015

We've updated our frequently asked questions.

17 September 2015

All of the parties involved are committed to finding a satisfactory way forward for overnight respite services in Herefordshire.

In order to allow sufficient time for exploration, dialogue and the formulation of a viable business plan, Herefordshire Council, Wye Valley NHS Trust and Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group have been asked to continue the current service at 1 Ledbury Road.

All three organisations have agreed that to avoid a gap in services for children, Ledbury Road can remain open for a period of time.  How long this is for and the size of the service is still being decided and is dependent on the assessed needs of the children, the financial resources available and staffing and statutory regulations being met.

For their part, the Save Number 1 Ledbury Road campaign group recognise that foster family based overnight respite will work for some children.  However, they also remain committed to a continued residential service at 1 Ledbury Road for the children for whom fostering is not suitable.

All parties remain committed to open and frank negotiations to achieve the best possible outcome for the children of Herefordshire, both now and in the future.

All parties have agreed to meet again in October 2015, to further discuss the situation following the completion of individual assessments.

Joint statement from the council, WVT, CCG and Save Number 1 Parents Group

17 August 2015

We've updated our frequently asked questions.

12 August 2015

If you would like to ask a question relating to short breaks and respite services or 1 Ledbury Road, please e-mail and we will aim to respond within 10 working days.

As we are currently producing a range of useful information for parents and carers, we will include the answers to any questions in our frequently asked questions (FAQs), unless they relate to specific children and families.

The FAQs will be updated every 10 working days, subject to available questions.

Please note that families with specific questions relating to their individual child or children should contact their allocated social worker.

4 August 2015

The short break and overnight respite service for children with disabilities currently provided at 1 Ledbury Road in Hereford will be changing.

Working in partnership, Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Wye Valley NHS Trust have agreed that the current service provided at 1 Ledbury Road does not meet the needs of all families and as such will be implementing changes to move towards a more community based approach, which has proved successful in other parts of the country.

The organisations are committed to providing home based respite but recognise that for families with children who have particularly complex needs, it may take longer to secure alternatives and have agreed that residential respite will remain available during this transition.

Whilst it is planned to eventually close 1 Ledbury Road; this will not be until all families have been provided with a suitable alternative service and we will work closely with them whilst they transfer to new or existing services. Until it closes, the service at 1 Ledbury Road will continue to be provided by Wye Valley NHS Trust subject to available staffing and the premises meeting required regulatory standards.

There is not a generic ‘one size fits all’ solution to short breaks provision in Herefordshire; the services we have developed and continue to develop will be based on the individual needs of each child and their family.

The organisations are meeting with families directly in August and September to discuss the changes to the short breaks service and how this will look going forward beyond 2015.

We appreciate that this is a stressful and unsettling time for some families and we will continue to work with them to address their aspirations or concerns.

Additional information

Related pages


Meeting minutes

Short breaks and respite services bulletin

Freedom of information (FOI) responses