Day services cut by Wiltshire Council

Wiltshire Council revealed yesterday that around 220 people with learning difficulties and 150 older people will lose access to day services under changes to eligibility criteria.

In May the council, which is battling financial problems in adult care, said it would only offer services to people with substantial or critical needs and whose wellbeing would be at risk if they did not receive services.

Wiltshire also said this week that it would shut five day centres for people with learning difficulties as part of a reorganisation of services.

Wiltshire will replace the centres with at least eight smaller settings over the next 18 months.

These will be based on the model of the council’s current activity centres at Devizes and Amesbury, which also act as a resource for other community groups.

John Thomson, Wiltshire’s deputy leader and cabinet member for adult and community services, said larger day centres had made a “limited contribution” to promoting social inclusion of people with learning difficulties.

The changes will lead to job losses among the 150 staff currently working in day centres, but the council said redundancies would be “kept to a minimum”.

Wiltshire will also close a day centre for older people in Trowbridge but will develop four specialist day services, one in each of the authority’s districts.

The council hopes to raise up to £5m by selling four of the five day centres for people with learning difficulties.




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