Day centres threatened with closure

THREE council day centres in Glasgow could close under plans to revamp services for people with learning disabilities.

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Matt Kerr, the council's social work spokesman, said he appreciated these proposals will represent a big change
Matt Kerr, the council's social work spokesman, said he appreciated these proposals will represent a big change

It would mean the closure of centres at Berryknowes, Summerston, and Hinshaw Street at Queen's Cross, which accommodate about 130 people each weekday.

Social work bosses will launch a consultation on the plan, which will be considered by the council's executive committee in January.

About 400 people each day attend seven council-run centres for people with learning disabilities.

Some of the centres are in poor condition and are able to offer only a limited range of services.

The council says reforming how the service operates would provide more opportunities for people in mainstream centres, would allow them to get involved in other activities and would also save money.

Under the plan, about 200 people with the most complex disabilities would continue to be supported in council-run day centres at Riddrie, Calton, The Wedge in Pollok, and Southbrae, Jordanhill.

Local area coordinators would be appointed to help people with good levels of ability to access support in the community, which the council hopes would better meet their needs.

The consultation will involve people who use the service, carers, social care organisations, staff, unions and others.

This year, the council will spend £11million on services for people with learning disabilities.

Matt Kerr, the council's social work spokesman, said: "I fully appreciate these proposals will represent a big change for people who receive support from our learning disability service.

"However, the landscape for social care in Scotland is shifting and we must move with the times. If we do not reform our day service now we face the prospect of our services being unattractive and, ultimately, rendered obsolete.

"By moving away from the standard reliance on day centres, we also see the prospect of a far more flexible and responsive service for those who have the ability to pursue their own interests and preferences."

One of the issues that will be given special attention in the consultation will be transport.

Some people can currently spend up to three hours a day on a bus going to and from day centres and the council wants to look at how this can be done more efficiently.

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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