Three day sites go in new deal

Heath Road Day Centre, Ashton-in-Makerfield
Heath Road Day Centre, Ashton-in-Makerfield

THREE day care centres in Wigan will be axed as part of a major shake-up of adult services.

Plans were approved at the council’s latest Cabinet meeting to close the Heath Road site in Ashton; Fourways in Tyldesley and Heathside in Leigh from January next year.

The Ullswater service, which supports older people, based in Broadmead, in Lowton, will also be terminated to provide the additional space needed to allow it to specialise in supporting people with very complex needs and challenging behaviour.

The possibility of turning the Fourways site into an extra care facility for older and disabled people is now being explored and the closure of Heathside will allow its residential element to expand.

The move is aimed at providing support designed around the clients, as all 406 clients will be allocated a personal budget and a support planner will discuss their needs and see where they are best placed - whether it be another day centre, a community interest company, voluntary group or club.

Closing the centres could save more than £725,000 and money from the buildings’ sale will go towards developing houses with extra care and supported living. Any job cuts are expected to be kept in single figures, as staff will be offered voluntary redundancy, or there are opportunities to retrain in a more community-based role.

The majority of day centres will continue to provide care for those with complex needs. Therefore, Central Day Centre, Etherstone Day Centre, Broadmead Day Centre, Selkirk hub, Hunter Lodge Day Centre and Wigan Council’s presence at Leigh Sports Village will remain. A new reablement service will be developed to work with people with long term conditions, acquired brain injury and learning disabilities, as well as an enhanced Active Living offer, giving customers a wider variety of activities. Future Steps and Chapter One, services currently delivered by Wigan Council, will transfer to the community and voluntary sector.

As a result of the consultation a number of changes have been made, which include providing weekend and bank holiday cover.

Coun Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Wigan Council, said: “This innovative deal will ensure we deliver the best possible level of personalised care for every individual. I understand that change is difficult, when we began the consultation on new models of support there was initially some anxiety and concern.

“These changes will help us make efficiency savings, but we believe it is possible to do this while transforming and modernising the services we provide along with improving the quality of the lives of service users.

“The old way is no longer the best way of providing the right support for people who need it, and doesn’t build on what’s available in their own communities. For example, many of the buildings we operate from are old and not fit for purpose and the pilots we’ve already carried out have proven successful.”