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Parents and carers invited to talk about short breaks and respite care

Parents and carers of children with disabilities are being invited to meet the people responsible for organising short breaks and respite care services, at a meet the commissioner event next month (2 May).

Short breaks and respite care services have been reviewed and redesigned as a result of parents and carers saying they want the services to be more flexible, better quality and more responsive to the individual needs of the children and their families.

Herefordshire Council and Herefordshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have worked with parents, carers, children and young people to put together a commissioning prospectus that sets out what short breaks and respite care services should look like from October 2013.  Organisations are being invited to bid for funding to deliver these services. 

Currently a number of providers are commissioned by the council and CCG to deliver these services, but these may change if new providers are awarded funding agreements.  To help with any concerns and give people the chance to talk to the commissioners direct, a meet the commissioners event has been organised for Thursday 2 May at Herefordshire Council’s Blackfriars Offices.  There are three sessions: 11.30am-12.30pm, 12.30-1.30pm and 1.30-2.30pm, which people can just turn up for.  Or alternatively they can ring 01432 383619 during office hours.

Philippa Granthier, head of commissioning, said: “We have worked with parents and carers to redesign short breaks and respite services in Herefordshire.  We realise that as a result, the support that some children and families receive now may change in the future. 

“We know that change is difficult and that for many of our children and young people this could cause anxiety.  So we are inviting parents and carers to a ‘meet the commissioner’ day.  The day is broken up into a number of sessions which people can just drop into.  We can explain the way the changes are going to take place and answer any concerns people might have.”

“Parents and carers will be involved in evaluating the completed bids, and we will take on board any concerns raised by service users.”