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Comments from public events | Adults Social Care Day Opportunities Consultation 2019 | Birmingham City Council

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16 April 2019 - The Factory - Northfield

  • Family have a son/daughter with severe learning difficulties; closure of Ebrook Day Centre, Sutton Coldfield would have a devastating effect on son/daughter.Family member has many friends there and this would be lost should the Day Centre close.Son/Daughter has control over the life and enjoys the day centre very much and enjoys tap dancing, swimming and cooking.Health and wellbeing would also be affected –is very safe at the day centre and looked after. The activities at Ebrook are very well structured. Families have no confidence in Birmingham City Council and their decision making process.
  • Those that attended felt like previous consultations hadn’t been listened to, and that this wouldn’t be any different.
  • The underpinning ideas (choice, health, control etc) were widely liked, however they were sceptical regarding how this would be implemented. They have found that that through a structured week with a wide range of opportunities this could be achieved. Their main focus was the threat of day centre closures, as all supported service users who currently utilised day centres, and how this would impact their family. They were scared that history would repeat itself, like it did in Tamworth, and that service quality would decrease – and then so would the quality of life of the service user.
  • There was large concern regarding the closure of day centres and funding cuts with the new strategy. Whilst this regards implementation not the consultation, it was the main topic of conversation.

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2 May 2019 - H-Suite

  • Enablement is defined differently on the [inter]net. This could cause confusion.
  • If money was put into preventing isolation at an earlier stage you would get people out into the community and interacting and then you wouldn’t needs these services so much.
  • People who access day care services may not necessary know what the other services are and therefore will be unable to access them. You could avoid spending £140 a day for a carer if someone wishing to access services is more informed and can access them independently. They need to be in possession of the full range of choices.
  • Enablement should be about gaining new skills, not only discovering or investing in old skills.
  • The cutting back on transport [public, disabled, ring-and-ride etc] is causing issues which is stopping citizens from accessing services. It will be interesting where the money is going to come from to fund the extra transport needed to provide the right infrastructure to support the proposed changes.
  • There needs to be engagement for other communities too to include Muslims, Sikhs or other religions. You could engage with GP surgeries or places of faith. Social media could also be used. The language, words or attitude that you use when presenting to people is important and better than things you write. We can show them what we want for them and future plans that they could have.
  • Focussing on individual person centred planning is great but it needs to be in a timely manner and not 12 months down line. If someone waiting 12 months to be assessed, not going to achieve outcomes for them and problems will escalate. Needs to be timeline rather than just at some point.
  • If the 3 way conversation is followed properly then it is an ideal situation to work in. It embraces all of it but there are not the things there for us to link the people to. For instance if we wanted a mosque or a day centre just for women. We identify things but then they are not picked up to follow through on. We can see the gaps and feed that back but it comes to nothing.
  • We have to fill in the blanks for each area. There is a project called Squeeze for carers where they all get together and talk. Sometimes carers are stressed and need help so we guide them and advise them on what to do or where to go. After the sessions, they say that they feel relieved as they were able to talk.
  • We want to bring people out from their caves with some form of socialising.
  • There is segregation in the services. Some people tick more than one of those boxes, i.e. someone with learning disabilities can also have physical disabilities. It should be personalised for each individual. I work with blind and partially sighted citizens. I cannot say to them “do you want to go to a blind group?” It needs to be more integrated and less about percentages. It is not all about what group they are in. More about what they can access regardless.
  • A child who uses a wheelchair or who has a learning disability would go to a different school. About 3 or 4 months ago, I saw a school group and 3 or 4 of them had physical impairments but were with a school group of able bodied children. Integration bodes well for the future. It is good to grow up with others. Able bodied children can then see that those with disabilities are still equal members of society.
  • I have had conversations with a few carers and they have locked themselves away in houses due to caring for their family and not being paid enough for bus fares. I think it would be a good idea for carers to be provided with off peak transport passes so that they can come out and live their lives. Some people say that they will be in a wheelchair themselves in two years due to having no money to go out. Ring and ride is difficult to get.
  • Carers have their own lives and their wellbeing is also important.
  • The enablement team work to support people and identify ways for them to go out and socialise and do what they can. Sometimes these citizens are just in bed and do not have the confidence to go out there which is living proof that sometimes you have to push them or give them the information for them to make those choices. Some have travel training and go to college and one gentleman just travelled by walking to the end of his street which was a huge success. It does not have to be that they go out to work; some may even like to do voluntary work or go for coffee. It is good to support them to enable them to go out into the community.
  • If it is what the individual wants then it is good. If they do not and are quite happy in taxis or whatever they wish then they should not be pushed. You cannot expect everyone to go and get a job just for economic reasons. It should be around what they want and not being pushed into it. That can lead to poor mental health or stress and it can be a lot of pressure. The wording is encouraging but only if they want that.
  • Aspirations can be limited by confidence. You need to be able to give them time to look at the steps that they can take.
  • It is also about being clear on those steps. If you are trying to encourage someone to work then tell them what the payments will be and what rent will be. Inform them of every step.
  • It looks great on paper but there needs to be more substance. It is a bit hit and miss. Some get a great personalised service but there is no consistency.
  • People are being encouraged to take on DP but there is no register of personal assistants. I recently had two people very keen but could not get them personal assistants. They had to go back to a commissioned service.– a register is being worked on at the moment with personal assistants on it.
  • Direct Payments is a good idea but you have to be careful as some people lack responsibility and it all gets spent too quickly.
  • When it works, it works great. You have to identify the right people to support the person.
  • As long as there are no safeguarding concerns around financial abuse.
  • It can be two ways as people can be underpaid for services provided. Carers are not paid highly.
  • I filled in a form for DP but not had a response yet. They are slow at responding and it takes too much time. – It can depend on the area, some areas have a backlog and others do not. I emailed ACAP and they rang my wife for an assessment but then I heard nothing after that.
  • People are different; if talking about family, they do not always want someone else to care for them unless it is someone they know.
  • The process is ok when there is a light load but not so much when heavy. Something needs to be done to speed up the process.
  • It looks great on paper but there needs to be more substance. It is a bit hit and miss. Some get a great personalised service but there is no consistency.
  • That is a language you associate with much younger people. It goes back to SILOS. I have a bus pass and use the bus a lot but services are quite poor. I can get a bus into town easily but from my bus stop to symphony hall is a 15 min walk which I can do but a lot cannot. Generally, public transport is very poor.
  • Transport is an issue generally when linking in with day centres or the community unless they provide transport, people cannot go.
  • There is not a lot of transport available for the blind or partially sighted. It is getting better but it is still not enough.
  • It is about finance too. With travel training you do apply for a bus pass and enablement help to find them activities and apply for bus passes to do that. I do not know who is funding this for them to get out and do those things in the community.
  • Schools, colleges and training centres; anyone enrolling with them get a card to use as a free bus pass for the days that they attend.
  • All principles are spot on but need to look at how they are practiced and the domains Also look at equality and culture and diversity.
  • For senior people it should be based on needs and preferences not goals and assets.
  • You need to ensure that the outcome makes the people feel good. We need to use outcome and impact e.g. how the low budget will impact the lives of people and carers.
  • Achievement needs to be looked at around the budget. This needs to be mentioned.
  • You should not look at the budget as constraints.
  • Some people feel happy going out on their own but some people are scared due to safety. Look at more support.
  • Senior People and carers, it is not about skill development, a better term to use is ‘capacity building with a focus of lifelong learning and ways to optimise fundamental independence.
  • Need psychosocial independence required by people.
  • I do not see how this gains financial independents in payments.
  • This is almost insulting. We do not have the money to buy our own things. BCC do a financial assessment to check income and expenditure. They tell us what we need to spend our money on but when we need something we are not allowed to use the money on that.
  • It is a benefit to maximise direct payment and personal budget to access support but how about maximising a person’s income through benefit advice and counselling.

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3 May 2019 - Black Carers Group           

  • I require a day centre for my son as he is virtually doing nothing and nothing is available at the moment. This sounds a brilliant idea.
  • RE: Page 11 of the ‘Adult Social Care Day Opportunities Strategy 2019 Document’, last paragraph entitled ‘Adults with Mental Ill Health’:
  • There is a difficulty with mental health people accessing help or a service which is a worrying statement. They may need help communicating their motivations. As a carer I can encourage, but not compel. I have a limited time to work with them.

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7 May 2019 - Mere Green Library          

  • Good aspiration, sometimes in practise it may be difficult to implement.Sometimes the views attributed towards the person centred plan are from carers/parents as the citizen may have difficulty understanding the situation. Who’s going to assess the outcomes, quality standards – are they similar with CQC, where are these formed? – these have been added to the questions
  • Good idea sometimes difficult to truly establish what they would really like to do
  • Level of ability to achieve is variable– make use of any training
  • Good for individual – biggest issue is getting money from the Council.Difficult to get funding approved.Choice – not available within Internal day centres.
  • Getting the information – access online – individual home capacity – Birmingham City Council need to expand visual and audio material to support.
  • Need to work with Macro and micro infrastructure to work
  • Model: Enablement – staffing levels – support appropriate
  • Desirable – not easy to provide
  • Good in general terms – however one size does not fit all.

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14 May 2019 - Signing Tree - Ladywood

  • People were now living longer and have more choice of activities support etc.
  • One venue son used to attend previously had 4 years ago activities involved IT, English/Maths. But all teachers had left. He left venue because he got bored down at centre sitting around.
  • All professionals stations here today but appears not many turned up. All stations I spoke to were very helpful. Sense in particular was very helpful. Sounds really good going to take my son to Sense. I am feeling excited and looking forward about going there. My son used to not get out of bed all day and it would be hard to get him out.
  • It has been part of my life since I found out my son had disability and before did not think or understood it.
  • I also support my brother who suffers from depression.   

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4 June 2019 - Kings Heath Community Centre

  • Transport – pushchairs etc taking up positions for disabled people, leaving them behind
  • Public transport isn’t always accessible e.g. Stechford train station has no lift
  • Issues with decisions to fund daycentres
  • Getting rid of elitism amongst access to services
  • Changing mindset of people
  • Employment – discrimination by employers to employees e.g. disabled toilets/lifts etc – laws are there but the issue is changing mindsets
  • Concern of social workers being too short term
  • Need more educating on budgeting for DP
  • Find it difficult to get hold of social workers – needs to be improved
  • Been an issue for decades, can’t reach social workers
  • BCC not exercising duty of care
  • No response from local authority
  • How is point 6 possible with cutbacks in funding
  • Need to learn from other authorities such as Cumbria who are much more successful than BCC
  • Should only need specialist intensive support when everything else has been exhausted
  • Daycentre fits perfectly with his working schedule and allows for a break from caring
  • Issue of training in assisted living – transfer to daycentre hasn’t been addressed but feels it would be beneficial for her son – need more specialist support, want more of a can do as opposed to can’t do attitude
  • Carers comments such as they’ve exhausted the social workers
  • Accessing any form of day support is hugely important – quality assurance and checking systems is needed
  • Links between commonwealth games and service users should be encouraged

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11 June 2019 - South Yardley Library

  • Older people whole adult transition – end of life
  • Model – concerns moving away from needs – Needs is what Care Act say in Law – should focus on this – this worries me greatly.
  • Need to address cultural needs – e.g. looking after mum ourselves  - give up job to support these needs.
  • Model – triangle needs to be fluids. 
  • There should be Department Heads, Directors attending these consultations.
  • More clarity around Dementia Adults.

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12 June - Alexander Stadium

  • Comment made by a Carer- The triangle in the presentation and in the draft strategy is upside down; it should be the other way around. There is a lot of people with Learning Disabilities that need meaningful days. The bigger section of the triangle should be at the bottom of the triangle.
  • Enablement – can be time limited but support can often be longer term e.g.  personalised support level. Care can be long term; this is not reflected in the model.
  • Enablement can be delivered with a degree of personalised support.
  • Need life time review. Enablement is not always the right option
  • There is already person centred planning approach. Person Centred approach is re-inventing the wheel.
  • Some people want to do different things and they are not been given the opportunity.
  • A carer mentioned her daughter who enjoys being with other people which she cannot get in the community.
  • Transport has not been mentioned in this consultation. Transport is needed/ it       is hard to find out about transport. Taxis are expensive.
  • We need to give people skills and the understanding- need to ask right questions so that skills and needs are met.
  • There are concerns that there will be Day Centre Closures
  • The skills of the Day Centre staff need to be retained.
  • Can’t force people to take Direct Payment
  • My daughter likes to go to the Day Centre and is happy with her peers. She enjoys the interaction with the group and does not want a Personal Assistant because it would not give her the contact with others that she needs.
  • It needs Day Services that mix with the local community and local people
  • The process for assessment and getting support can take months. Social Workers do not know what services are out there. Social Workers are not going out to look at the centres.
  • Design principle – the proposed model is ok in terms of content but needs re-arranging, e.g. personalised support runs through all levels
  • There’s  a massive group with more complex needs that need ongoing support to learn skills and retain those skills
  • Services in the community need to get better at being more inclusive
  • Do not like the term ‘Citizen’ we are all citizens

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