Herefordshire children and young people with disabilities and their families, are to have more choice and flexibility with a wider range of services and activities to choose from in future.
The council, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and local families have worked together over the last few months to agree what services need to be available to meet the needs of their children. At the same time, discussions have been taking place with service providers to see what they can offer to meet these needs.
Cabinet will be asked to approve funding to the value of £1.3m over three years, when it meets on 21 November. This funding, if approved, will be used in conjunction with funding from the CCG to award new contracts to provide a range of short breaks and respite care services for children and young people with severe disabilities.
As a result of a tendering process and subject to funding being approved, the council and CCG will be contracting with some new providers in Herefordshire, offering a greater choice for families. There will also be more support workers/buddies available to support children and young people and provide a break for their parents. A new foster carer service will allow families to have overnight or day respite from caring for their children, either in their own homes or in the carer’s home. And the council is able to continue funding existing activity clubs in the short term and help them find alternative funding so that they don’t have to be reliant on public sector funding in future.
Philippa Granthier, Herefordshire Council, said: “We have been working with children, young people and their families over the last 18 months. They have told us that the current services in the county don’t offer the choice, flexibility and range of opportunities that they need.
“We are now at the stage of awarding a number of new contracts which will bring real positive changes that families want, but there is still more that needs to be done.”
John Wick’s Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s chief officer, added: “We need to develop overnight respite care services so that families’ needs are met better and we will be working with existing providers over the next 15 months to do this.
“We will make sure parents and carers continue to be informed of progress and are actively involved in the redesign of services.”