Herefordshire Council is to have a new learning disability champion to help protect some of the county’s most vulnerable people and make sure their voices are heard.
Councillor Chris Chappell will be taking up the role and supporting Councillor Graham Powell as cabinet member for health and wellbeing. He said: “I’m delighted to be taking on this role and helping people with learning difficulties manage some of the changes that lie ahead.
“Although I will be working closely with Councillor Powell, I will be a strong advocate for both service users and providers of services and challenge the council’s cabinet if I think people’s best interests are not being met.”
Similar to other parts of the country, adult social care is going through significant change in Herefordshire, and the council is working hard to meet competing demands of new legislation, make savings and deal with a growing elderly population. Over the last few months there have been regular meetings for people who use adult social care to encourage them to get involved in planning for the future. However, the council’s Scrutiny Committee asked the council to do more to help people with learning disabilities and their families, to have their say.
Councillor Chappell continued: “We want to make sure people have more choice and control, but we also need to listen to people with learning difficulties who don’t manage change very well. It is crucial their voices are heard and that we fully understand the impact of change before any transitions to new services take place.”