WITH regard to the Letter from Jim Radburn, of the Carers In Hucknall organisation, in the Dispatch of March 9 (‘Disgusted By The Closure Of Dementia Service’).
Firstly, can I make clear that while the building within which the New Outlook service is provided is to close, the service provided for people with early-onset dementia is set to continue.
Notts County Council is moving the service provided to the clients, which will continue to be provided, from a purpose-built day-service building close to where each person lives.
At the moment, 12 people with working-age dementia, and older people with dementia, attend New Outlook from across Ashfield, Mansfield, Newark and Sherwood and Bassetlaw.
Many people have to travel very long journeys and are not able to do activities out and about in their local community or meet people from their local area. The council believes that it makes more sense to offer people support and service closer to where they live, in a dedicated day-service building with suitably trained staff, rather than in a converted house.
The county council is investing £6.7 million on refurbishing 14 buildings across Nottinghamshire to create day centres which will be shared by all service-users — older people, people with physical and learning disabilities and mental-health needs.
By sharing facilities in this way, we can also make more activities available to people.
The buildings have been designed in a way that also allows people to take part in smaller group-sessions if this suits their needs. For example, the Cognitive Stimulation Therapy programme, which has been operated from the New Outlook service, is to be extended across the whole county as part of the modernisation programme and will, therefore, be available locally to many more people than can access it now.
This is just one example of how we intend to enhance services available to people with early-onset dementia. Equally, people will be able to take advantage of existing and newly-developing activities that take place within the larger centres, which can provide more stimulating and diverse environments.
If the service-users do not want to receive their day service from a different building, then they have the option to use the funding allocated to them as a Personal Budget, to buy a different kind of service, such as more homecare or individual support to help them go to other activities and meet friends.
Staff from our local assessment teams are meeting with every person at the moment, to help them and their family understand what the options are.
It is possible that some people may want to pool their budgets, so that they have more money to work with. Many creative options can be developed, to put together a new care-package that will meet the needs of the service-user and carer.
I understand that changes such as those being implemented within the modernisation of day services can be difficult for people to understand and often cause people to feel anxious.
But I would like to reassure Mr Radburn that the county council is committed to ensuring that people who are eligible for social care provision can continue to receive appropriate services close to where they live.
COUN KEVIN ROSTANCE (Con),
Cabinet member for adult
social care and health,
Notts County Council.