NOTE – This consultation has now closed (01.12.17)

Do you have a loved one in care? Or maybe you’re a carer yourself?

Or maybe you’re a foster carer?

If so, it’d be worth you taking two minutes to read the blog piece below.


Difficult Decisions

As already detailed, Wrexham Council needs to save £13million over the next two financial years.

That means we have to look at streamlining and making efficiencies in some of the services we offer – or even stopping some services altogether.

That’s what’s being looked at as part of Difficult Decisions.

Children’s Social Care

There are a few things we’re looking at changing with regards to Children’s Social Care. These are:

  • Placements for Looked After Children

It can be difficult to find foster care placements for children with complex needs, or any children who need to be fostered in sibling groups.

One of the proposals looked at under Difficult Decisions suggests that we increase the fees we pay to Council-employed foster carers, reducing the amount we spend on independent placements. This could add capacity to the service by increasing the overall number of foster carers available to children in Wrexham.

  • Childcare Sustainability Grants

In some cases, the council pays small Childcare Sustainability Grants to private childcare providers to help them keep their businesses sustainable. One of the proposals under Difficult Decisions is that we cease the payment of these grants.

  • Council Funded Childcare Training

We as a local authority provide funding for the training of private childcare providers – this includes things like First Aid, food hygiene and safeguarding.

It’s proposed that we cease this funding, meaning private sector providers would have to get the funding elsewhere.

Adult Social Care

Adult Social Care is a very broad area, and we want to develop sustainable, affordable services which answer the needs of vulnerable adults, and give them more choice and control in how their needs are met.

The proposals for the Adult Social Care service are:

  • Day and Work Opportunities

We currently have a review ongoing with regards to work opportunities offered to adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairment and mental health needs.

We want to know whether the Adult Social Care team should still run those projects, and whether or not we could look at other ways we can support people to access employment and volunteering opportunities.

We will also review day services at the Erlas Walled Garden Project and the Cunliffe Day Centre, and will also look at the relocation of staff based within our Greenacres site.

  • Direct Payments

Direct Payments allow people eligible for care or support the choice of managing their own budgets, with or without help – and this gives them more flexibility over when and how they receive care, and who provides it.

We’re looking at ways to make Direct Payments easier to manage and are reviewing the support services we have in place.

  • Respite Services

Respite services give carers a break from their role, and we provide this service through companies which deliver care services at home. Our proposal is that we stop using domiciliary care providers and commission a new service, offering flexible provision at a more sustainable cost.

We have also successfully secured a grant to build an extension on Park View, a specialist respite facility for adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. This would allow us to increase the specialist respite care available, and could help us generate income as the service would be available to the Health Board and other local authorities.

  • Review of Care and Support Services

We will take a look at all the services we’re providing to people in care and support, and look for any alternative ways to make sure their needs are met, and ensure there is no over-provision of services.

Part of this will include reviewing Project Work Support, a one-to-one service which allows people to manage their lives and engage with the community. The majority of this service is purchased from domiciliary care providers – it’s proposed that Project Work Support be reviewed and lower cost ways of delivering services, such as Direct Payments and Shared Lives

  • Supported Living

We propose reviewing Supported Living – which offers support and accommodation to people with high levels of need – to make sure it is sustainable and affordable.

Supported Living allows people to have their own tenancies and live with support in their own homes, often supported by a team of people who provide support for the individual and their co-tenants. This includes members of staff who sleep in overnight.

We’re proposing to review this service – each house will be reviewed separately, and we will maximise the use of telecare and mobile support where appropriate.

  • Out of County Placements

It is proposed that we continue with work already underway to support people back into Wrexham who might have been places in care homes or other services out of county, and ensure we’re making full use of Supported Living as an alternative to placements, where appropriate.

This would include a review of the use and possible expansion of the Recovery Service – our specialist mental health service – working in partnership with the Health Board.

“You won’t listen”

You might think that councils don’t listen to the results of these consultations – but we do.

Results from previous rounds of Difficult Decisions have dictated how we’ve looked at our budget in previous years.

A lot of people think they shouldn’t bother saying anything because we “won’t listen”.

But if you don’t say anything, we can’t listen at all – simply put, we’ve got nothing to listen to.

And if you don’t say anything, you’ll leave it to other people to respond to the consultation and guide how we look at the budget over the next two years.

So make sure you have your say – don’t miss out on this opportunity to get across what you think.

Fill-in our questionnaire now, and make sure you have your say on proposed budget-savings.