Tighter Wiltshire criteria hits users

More than a third of people with learning difficulties and a quarter of older people receiving day services in Wiltshire are likely to lose their entitlement to services under a
tightening of the council’s 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 well-being would be at risk if they did not receive services.

Last week, it revealed that around 220 people with learning difficulties and 150 older people would lose day services, but a spokesperson said the figures were still an estimate as it would not complete its review of care packages until the end of year.

She also said the council had set up a community development team to help find alternative support for people who lost access to day services.

But Janet Dapson, secretary of Unison’s Wiltshire Council branch, said the withdrawal of services would put some users at risk.

Wiltshire will also shut five day centres for people with learning difficulties and replace them 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.

The council said redundancies among the 150 staff working in day centres 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.

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