Community-based day activities and supports for people with learning disabilities
10 key tasks - Key task 3: Organising resources for change
- Move funding from congregate services and attach it to individuals, and increase take-up of independent living funding (ILF) and other individual funding streams. There are ideas about how to do this in the Key Ingredients section on Individualised funding.
- Break down the boundaries between home support and day services to create real, whole-life supports. There is an example below from the London Borough of Richmond.
- Re-deploy and re-train existing staff for new community roles, and have a bespoke workforce development strategy designed to create staff who can build community opportunities and deliver good community-based support. Workforce development are key ingredients for successful change.
- Consider moving complete services or groups of staff out of the local authority. This has proved extremely positive for Pure Innovations in Stockport (see Key task 1), in part because of the funding freedom that resulted. Such a move has also helped social firms to develop in the London Borough of Bromley (see Practice examples below).
- Develop services which do not focus resources (money or staff) on running buildings, however small, or running special groups within shared buildings. This is a core issue in day service modernisation. There is more on this in Smart commissioning and see also the Norfolk example below and the HILTexample in Key Task 2.
- Keep abreast of new national funding streams and funding coming into your locality, such as community regeneration money, and be creative in bidding for a share to support inclusive developments… but think about sustainability from the outset and consciously manage budgets to keep successful community services going by planned disinvestment from others. There are some sources of information about funding streams under Links and resources.
- Actively manage staff time so that people are supported in community places, at ordinary times - including evenings and weekends - and so that staff focus on supporting people to achieve their ordinary life goals. See the Warwickshire example below. Don’t increase the hours of support people receive, but do reorganise the pattern of delivery to suit what they want to do.
- Develop funding partnerships with community organisations. See the Southampton and Garstang Deanery examples below. Use the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and Disability Equality Duty as leverage for match funding.
- Go local! Providing support from or near someone’s home cuts down on transport costs as well as making it more likely that sustainable community connections will be made. See the example from Shropshire.
- Map the network of supported opportunities with other agencies, for example adult community learning, health promotion (healthy living) practitioners, leisure services, the FE college. Take a partnership approach to avoid duplication and make the most efficient use of the full deck of support resources available for all the community.
- There are many more ideas about organising resources throughout this guide. Read on.
In the London Borough of Richmond the local authority, as commissioner, is developing a productive partnership with a number of local provider organisations to develop integrated whole-life support. It is working in partnership with United Response, Mencap, Owl housing and others to develop individual plans with people and then support them to go out to do the things they want to do directly from where they live.
The local authority day service in Stratford, Warwickshire has moved from a large day centre to four smaller community bases. There is also a baseless service that supports people to do things directly from their homes. The staffing for that service, which operates during the day and some evenings, is mainly being achieved by actively managing the hours of staff working from the four bases. Four staff spend at least some of the week with the service, alongside its one part-time member of staff.
The Garstang Deanery Project near Blackburn is a partnership between the Blackburn diocese and local authority social services. It focuses on social inclusion and aims to build natural supports and divert people from using day services. Money from a day centre post has been transferred to the project to make it happen.
Following the closure of Little Plumstead Hospital, Norfolk County Council established a service to support people moving from the hospital. The Community Support Team gives individualised support to around 90 people. Each person receives one-to-one support in the community to socialise, join clubs, undertake leisure activities and keep up with friendships. Each person is helped to decide how they want to spend their time, and people receive varying amounts of support, most commonly three days a week. People can choose to be supportedat the weekend or in the evening and to take natural breaks away from home. There is no day centre base but a wide range of community locations are visited from home according to what the person chooses.
Shropshire’s local authority learning disability services embarked on day service modernisation in the early 1990s. Some people were travelling for three hours or more to get to a day centre: more local provision was needed. Three local bases were initially developed. An SSI inspection in 2001 then recommended the approach be extended. Capital of £800,000 was allocated by the local authority and, in all, 16 bases with their own teams of staff have been created. The aim was to close all three of the large day centres by the end of 2006. People with high support needs receive an integrated service. Capital funding has been used to ensure that the new community bases are accessible and have appropriate equipment. One community centre had a changing bed and hoist installed into the football changing room ('it works well’); a personal care area was funded and built at Ellesmere Town Hall in return for reduced rental for the rooms people use; three new community centres are being funded through the PFI programme and the service will be using part of these new community buildings. Most of the bases are shared community buildings and it’s mostly local people who use them. Staff teams are tapping into local things that are happening and supporting people to take part. This has all resulted in people having a more valued and respected role in their communities.
The local authority in Bromley has developed a contract with the Shaw Trust to develop social firms. Staff have transferred from the local authority day service under TUPE arrangements to support people working in a catering enterprise and on a cemetery maintenance contract, with more firms developing. There are specific targets within the contract for people with complex needs, not just people with moderate learning disabilities who are already quite independent, but those needing a great deal of support who may have profound physical as well as mental impairments.
Download Shaw Trust Factsheet.
Useful resources and sources of information onfunding streams:
- Social Exclusion Taskforce
- Futurebuilders England, a Government-backed fund providing a combination of loans, grants and capacity-building support for 'third sector’ organisations that deliver public services. Organisations repay the loan element of the investment by earning revenue through forming contracts with public sector agencies such as local authorities or primary care trusts. Futurebuilders invests in a range of organisations, including charities, social enterprises, community interest companies, voluntary groups and community organisations. www.futurebuilders-england.org.uk
- 'Resourcing the vision. funding valuing people' ,R. Williams (ed), with contributions from J. Knight, P. Kinsella and N. Fripp (Paradigm, 2003)
- The Valuing People website has information about funding, including (in the money section) a good overview (some south west-specific) in 'SWALD updated listing of funding sources’ (June 2004) from Suzanne Battleday and Carol Robinson and a note about PFI (private finance initiative).
day services modernisation and PFI’, A. Johnson
on the Valuing