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Comments from internal events - 28 May and 2 July 2019 | Adults Social Care Day Opportunities Consultation 2019 | Birmingham City Council

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Comments from internal events - 28 May and 2 July 2019

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28 May 2019 - Alderman Bowen Day Centre

  • Attendees of the day centre expressed their interest in various activities; using computers, using the library, going shopping with relatives, bowling, playing darts, playing dominos, arts and crafts. Some expressed that they would like to use computers somewhere other than the library but it is difficult for them to get out. Many said that they partake in activities much less frequently than they would like to.
  • One gentleman spoke about the idea of being on your own/independent is not easy.  Many attendees said that they would like to access day centre activities in the community such as planting/potting, cooking, dancing, football and bird watching. Getting out and about is an idea that is positive for many around the table.
  • Citizens said that their health is important and that exercise would make their body and mind stronger. They also spoke about medication and the importance of it.
  • Citizens were excited at the idea of volunteering. Some said they would like to volunteer in a charity shop where as others were interested in helping the elderly.
  • The idea of volunteering and working in a charity shop is popular amongst citizens.
  • Comments were made between two carers around the idea of change being too upsetting to some citizens. For some people, the time they spend at the day centre is enough and they feel the council need to be more transparent with their intentions. Daily routine is important and after some have tried too hard for such a long time to keep a routine and integrating them into the community would disrupt them.
  • Some felt the consultation was an overload of information and that it could have been condensed into less paperwork.
  • Some people only understand things in black and white; they can’t always comprehend choice because they might not have capacity – they are happy with the life that they have already
  • Not as many resources for older adults.
  • Accept that some people are so profoundly disabled that there may not be a suitable outcome.
  • As you get older as a carer it gets harder.
  • Trying to measure outcome and successes is not always possible.
  • Service users know the day centre inside and out – need to be very careful about upsetting the ‘status quo’.
  • Keep the centre going but within that base explore further options outside of that – the centre to be a place where they can come and go.
  • More choice and more activities with the day centre as a base.
  • To be able to visit garden centres/allotments.  Outside activities.  Different groups to go out each day to ensure that everyone has their turn.
  • The council already have a tight budget and this will cost a lot of money.
  • More choice to be available for service users
  • Weekend outings to be available rather than just week days.
  • Savings to be made by consolidating day centres. 
  • The proposed model does not fit in with the budget.
  • Is the consultation really to fool people…..day services is going one way or the other – this is really about closing centres.
  • Carers to have more respite as feel that their needs are changing all the time
  • How are we moving forward, everything is going around in circles – nothing new.
  • Seems  to be geared towards the more able bodied.  Don’t see how the new approach will meet more complex needs.  Would like to see something  more geared to those  with complex needs.
  • The logistics of it is expensive for example recently there has been vehicle vandalism at Alderman Bowen and they have been off the road for approximately 2 weeks to date.  How can you propose community activities if vehicles are out of order.  Contingency plan needs to be put in place.
  • The impression is that is geared more towards the younger generation ‘everything for autism’.  Autism is a very broad spectrum and needs to be used widely.
  • There has been failures over the years due to expense.  There is then pressure on individuals and lack of confidence due to failure creates another problem.
  • Will there be travel training.  We already had this with Community Options and then this was stopped.
  • Where will the budget for staff come from for one to one support in the community.
  • “we like the idea put in reality it is fantasy”
  • Appears to be ticking the boxes rather than finding out what the service users are doing
  • Priorities are all wrong
  • Money is being spent for support off Capita rather than a hands on service
  • I agree 100% that people should have choice as long as you recognise that will mean different things for different people.
  • Even if they want to go out there’s nowhere to go.
  • At the day centre my sister moves around independently but out in the community she needs support.
  • Another example of poor planning.
  • Change has a disproportionate impact on citizens, carers and staff.
  • There is no transparency to the process.
  • Waste of paper! Condense it down to 2 pages needs. Situation is black and white – complex and more able.
  • Will this strategy lead to centres closing as they are a life line to both service users and their families?  As they are the only form of release for both.
  • Some service users are at the day centres because they are not able to fully function out the community.  They would not be able to do anything or take part in anything without the support of the day centres.
  • There will only be respite care and we do not trust respite care.
  • When my son turned eighteen I looked around at other opportunities and facilities for him but they were either not suitable or turned him away as they could not meet his needs. The day centre was the only place that was suitable and met his needs.
  • Our son likes to have a routine and does not handle change very well.  When he is at the centre he is willing to go out into the community as he knows that he will be returning to the day centre and will be out in the community with people he knows.
  • My son only come to the day centre for two days a week I am trying to increase this from two to five days as myself and my husband are in our seventies and it is getting harder to cope his coming to the day centre gives us and him a break.
  • If the day centres were not there, both the service user and their carers would be excluded from the community. As the day centre allow service user to take part in activities in the community and allows carers to use the free time to go out and about.
  • If there are no day centres the full burden of care will fall on the carers.
  • There is only sheltered accommodation and parents/carers `have serious concerns about these places.  Service user need to feel safe and secure in their environment.
  • The disabled are already pushed back in the community and struggle to make themselves understood even with the professionals such as doctors and hospital staff.
  • It is not easy for the ethnic community to know the rights of the disabled as there is often a problem with the language barrier.
  • This strategy is designed for the ideal disabled person, but there is no such thing as the ideal disabled person.
  • Service user said the meeting was good but did not understand what it was about.
  • It is good that the council planning to give more choices, but this consultation was not beneficial to my brother as he did not understand what was about.
  • The centre already allows service user to make choices.
  • It needs to be explained more it is too complex for service user to understand.  It would be false to think that they comprehend what was being told to them.  There needs to a separate more in depth consultations with carers and family with more information and details.
  • I resent the comments that family and carers can be restricting to the disable about what they capable of achieving
  • With day centres you can ask for help to allow service user to live a fuller live.
  • Carer – Good strategy, simple to the point.  Most important thing to put people’s needs forward
  • Carer – Quite good, but people are individuals with their needs
  • Without this centre, my sister’s life is not possible
  • Staff do everything for her here because they know her
  • Carer – My daughter needs a lot of support.  When she is here, it gives me a break
  • Carer – Gives people a reason to live because have activities to do.  People (SU) learn life skills
  • Carer – My sister likes to dance and sing at the centre, but she won’t do this at home.  She is happy and secure here
  • We/family are happy that she is happy and secure.
  • My sister need activities to keep her occupied
  • She has a ‘Home School’ diary so we know what activities she has done.  We are concerned about her weight, so we worked with the centre to manage her weight
  • Community opportunities are not as safe as a day centre because lack of staff and there are less activities for people to do
  • The centre does a lot of health and well-being activities
  • Carer – Need more opportunities and activities, but there are a lack of funds
  • Carer – Centre provides rest and break for carers and users
  • My sister has lots of friends, it’s a social community where she can meet her friends
  • Carer – When the day centre closed on the weekend, I had to bring my daughter here to show her that it was closed
  • Carer – It’s very positive to come to the centre, but it would be nice if they had the odd/occasional trip
  • Carer – Maybe they should have exercise classes
  • Carer – It’s good that staff watch my sister’s weight.  They have healthy eating options so we can watch her weight/food at home.  We can see her progress via her Home Diary
  • Carer – This is a good centre
  • SU – Thumbs up! Likes the centre
  • Carer – Really satisfied with staff, safety is good, family are comfortable, there is lots of entertainment to keep people/users active, they have a “good life”
  • Carer -  Would like to have more trips
  • SU – The centre is good.  I like cooking; dancing; exercise and singing
  • Carer – If they (BCC) ever think about closing the centre down, we will protest!
  • Going out in the community is not suitable as there are no changing facilities.
  • My son doesn’t like to go out and about.  Doesn’t trust people.  Often gets bullied by people in public.
  • It is difficult to push the wheelchair on the roads in Birmingham.
  • Being able to go out is dependent on the weather.
  • Community is not ready.
  • Physically challenging to use public transport and it takes a long time.
  • Son needs constant support to go out – he is not mobile and he is not aware of any dangers.
  • Various risk to factor in with accessing the community.
  • Logistically expensive to get people out and about in the community
  • The centre is pivotal to people’s lives.
  • My son is happy here – he will die if he can’t come here.
  • This place is like a family.
  • Has learned a lot of skills since being here.
  • The centre has always had a person centred approach.
  • People have been coming here for half their lives.
  • Brother has gained in confidence and improved communication. Has also learnt toilet training and lots of other skills in a short amount of time.
  • This place provides important respite for families. It allows people to work and to get on with their lives.
  • Staff are very supportive.
  • Friendships are important – son doesn’t want to be at home every day.
  • Important to have medical needs catered for – centre has protocols for administering medication.
  • Need more backup to support people out and about in the community otherwise it could be a safeguarding issue if people are not supported adequately.
  • Not interested in direct payments.
  • Money is an issue when financing activities.
  • Stability is important.  People will be disorientated if things change. Routine is very important.
  • Had to get rid of personal assistant, as there were trust issues.  PA lied about activities that were carried out and took loved one back to their own home without notice or permission.  Safeguarding concern so contract was ended.
  • Wouldn’t use a PA again due to safeguarding concerns and lack of trust.
  • Has been proposed before and is nothing new.
  • Geared to more able service users – don’t see how it will benefit those with more complex, clinical needs.  Think those who are more able will be kicked out of services.
  • Think it is more suitable for the younger age group and those with autism.
  • The changes proposed may cause too much pressure for those who have been accessing services for a very long time.
  • Like proposals but think they are in a fantasy world.
  • Lots of services are no longer working due to cut backs, e.g. it took 3 months to get an advocate from the advocacy service.
  • BCC directs more funding towards computers, e.g. £375k per week to Capita.
  • Need to look at grassroots to get things in place.
  • Don’t think this is a step forward.  Nothing has changed.
  • Strategy does not factor in needs of carers.
  • A lot of carers are older and worn out.  There is no respite available (hasn’t had respite for 3 to 4 years).
  • Not all staff are sufficiently trained to work with people with complex needs and behaviours.  Some have been re-deployed to these centres through staff re-structures and are not equipped to deal with demands.
  • Complaints system is rubbish – would like more clarity around the process. It takes to long to deal with complaints.

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2 July 2019 - Shared Lives Carers at Heartlands DC

  • Day Centre as Hockley filled with lots of meaningful activities; service users have a network of friends.  If not broke – don’t fix it. It’s a cheaper way for council to save money.
  • The Day Centres are better prepared than most of the community.
  • If you are going to improve the lives of service users, we are behind you 100%,
  • Hockley DC has lots of facilities , have a wide range of activities, even open after normal hours close
  • I care for an 18 year old would not want to attend a day centre , is looking for employment and applying for manger jobs – without understanding the skill set required
  • Service user likes knitting at the centre, but find it difficult to teach her a skill which I have not got.  I use youtube videos to support.
  • At day centres, carers know about citizens in a secure and safe environment, we can enjoy respite to do other household tasks and go on holiday if needed.
  • If you introduce equal pay for disable employees – the expectation from employer will be stricter as per able employees.

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