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Frequently asked questions and responses: 84 to 155 | Adults Social Care Day Opportunities Consultation 2019 | Birmingham City Council

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Frequently asked questions and responses: 84 to 155

The following questions have been asked at different Day Opportunities consultation 2019 events and we have provided answers. This will be updated on an ongoing basis as more questions are asked at different consultation events.

Last updated 9 August 2019

84. Previously there has been available funding from the ‘Richard Rowntree Organisation’ through Children’s Trust, will there be similar funding for over 18s?

There is an aspiration that similar sources of funding to the Richard Rowntree Organisation can be attracted to support day opportunities provision into the future. Some of the third sector organisations who currently provide day opportunities have been able to attract similar funding from a variety of sources other than Birmingham City Council.

85. Costs for getting people out in the Community – Who will be paying?

If the draft strategy were to be implemented following the consultation and as decided by Cabinet, then resource requirements would be determined at that time.

86. Is it possible to invite the community to attend activities at the centre?

If the draft Strategy were to be implemented following the consultation analysis and subsequent decisions by Cabinet greater interaction between day opportunity provision and the wider community would be encouraged including potentially inviting the community to attend activities at day centres.

87. My daughter has a flexible funding package so will this have to change?

There is no reason why your daughter’s flexible funding package will need to change in the future linked to the consultation in relation to the draft Day Opportunities Strategy. The person being assessed or reviewed must always remain at the centre of the process therefore consideration should be given on how best to support the person in this process.

88. Is this consultation just the council’s way of dealing with budget cuts by cutting day centres and farming it out to the private sector?

Birmingham City Council is consulting on the key aspirations of the draft Strategy and the proposed day service model and not about the closure of any particular day centre services. The current day opportunities provision is delivered by Birmingham City Council run centres as well as a range of third sector and private organisations.

89. Direct Payments won’t work (i.e. – age means not tech savvy etc.) - what provisions are in place for the service user? 

Birmingham City Council commissions three organisations to either manage direct payments on behalf of direct payment recipients.

90. How do direct payments work? Do I have to have a pre-paid card?

If you have eligible care and support needs and choose a direct payment, you will be offered a pre-paid card. You can use this to pay for your care and support. There are other ways of managing direct payments tailored to suit the needs of individuals.

Direct Payment information

91. Who will find a personal assistant?

Birmingham City Council currently commissions three organisations to support citizens with direct payments. As part of this service they offer some support in finding personal assistants.

92.If funding is not suitable or enough to support a PA for 5 days how will this work?

Direct payments are not compulsory and if you would rather the local council arrange the support they can do so. It is also be possible to have a combination of support from the local council and direct payments.
The direct payment must be an amount that is sufficient to meet the assessed needs of the person you are looking after. However, they might have to make an additional contribution towards the cost.

93. Is there anywhere citizens can go to receive help filling out the consultation questionnaires?

Citizens were advised they could call or email the day opportunities consultation team. Staff members at day centres were also on hand to assist.

94. How will any changes affect staff in day centres?

The proposed Day Opportunities Service Model very much focuses on the individual, their wishes and desired outcomes. This will support the development of a more flexible and responsive social care workforce.

95. Will the staff be consulted on these changes as they know the service and the service user’s needs?

Staff members within City Council centres have been engaged with to explain the draft strategy and proposed model. There have been engagement sessions with staff groups within each centre. Staff members have been encouraged to support services users throughout the consultation process.

96. If able bodied people are struggling to find employment how do you expect the service users to?

The draft Day Opportunities Strategy considers how to compliment and support the opportunities that working age adults with disabilities have to prepare for to access employment.

97. Is the aim to get people that receive a day service to find a service in the community?

Birmingham City Council does not wish to prejudice the result of the consultation and therefore cannot determine how the 6 key aspirations outlined in the draft strategy might be delivered.

98. Why is the service not already standardised?

It can be said that Birmingham's day opportunities provision has not been standardised to date as it involves a wide range of council run services, charities and private organisations who deliver these services. Nationally the Care Qualities Commission (CQC) does not regulate day opportunities which also impacts on the ability to standardise. It is proposed that the draft Day Opportunities Strategy provides a standardised set of service delivery principles for all types of provision. There is also an intention to implement a set of quality standards for the sector.

99. Wouldn’t it be better to start with smaller piloted project first and build on that rather than trying to change it all?

The consultation is concerned with seeking the opinion of citizens on the proposed key aspirations of the draft strategy and the proposed day service model. How these will be implemented, if approved by Cabinet, will be the next step. The use of smaller piloted projects could be one way of testing new types of services into the future.

100. The 6 points are all good – what have you been doing so far?

How the six proposed aspirations may be implemented, if approved by Cabinet, might be the next step. The Council cannot start to implement the draft Strategy unless it is approved. The Council has committed resources to ensuring that the consultation reaches as many citizens of the city as possible so that they can have their say.

101. Alongside the six principles cultural needs should be embedded. What do the BCC ethnicity demographics look like for day care?

Individual cultural needs and interests would be taken into account as part of person centred planning. The information about ethnic breakdown of those accessing day care can be found in table 2 of the proposed strategy for day opportunities (page 10).

102. How are these ideas going to be achieved?

The focus of the consultation is to agree a set of design principles prior to any planning. If the draft Strategy was to be approved by Cabinet the next stage would be to consider how it might be best implemented.

103.Will the analysis report be accurate and representative?

Comments, questions and returns received will be analysed and included in the final report. The consultation has included as many meetings as possible with a broad range of people. This will be reflected in the final report.

104. The users and carers describe the day centre as their lifeline- How will the plan & model affect me – they say - what will there be for my brother /sister/ son / daughter, with complex needs?

There will be continued support which is appropriate to the needs of the individual.

105. Some places are not wheelchair friendly – how do you know in advance?

AccessAble is a website and app which helps to give you the accessibility information you need to work out if a place is going to be accessible for you.

AccessAble website

106. Will the council pay for more changing facilities?

This is an issue wider than just day opportunities provision. There may be potential for day opportunities providers to make available their changing facilities for any citizen with a disability who are accessing the local community in their area.

107. No facilities/ funding available, what happens in the future?

If the draft Strategy were to be agreed following a decision by Cabinet then resource requirements would be considered at that time.

108. What is out in the community that meets the needs of those with a range of support requirements?

The Council has a list of current day opportunities provision. There are websites such as Connect to Support which shows what community opportunities are available.

Connect to Support website

109. Do services in the community know how to support people?

If citizens are to access services in the community a person centred assessment determines the necessary support alongside a risk assessment.

110. It was queried how will this integrate people into the community?

If citizens are to access services in the community a person centred assessment determines if the necessary support alongside a risk assessment.

111. Why is Birmingham City Council suggesting that citizens that attend a day centre do more activities in the community?

The proposed Strategy puts forward the aspiration that citizens who attend day services should be able to access a range of opportunities in the wider and their own community as an active and equal citizen. The proposed strategy also has a focus on skills development and improving independence in daily living as well as maximising choice, independence and control for the service users. The Council proposes that to realise these aspirations there needs to be a greater focus on undertaking activities in the community.

112. Why aren’t there enough hoists in public toilets?

Birmingham City Council is aware that this is an issue. Work needs to be done with a wide range of organisations to discuss further.

113. Is the new model going to link with other community facilities e.g. Commonwealth Community games?

This fits the proposed Strategy aspiration of making the most of a vibrant and developing city, ensuring access to the wide range of opportunities Birmingham has to offer.

114. How will the community be developed to support this model e.g. transport, building accessibility?

If the draft Strategy were to be approved this will be an area for further development with our partners.

115. 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; is this going to be considered?

This relates to the aspiration of the proposed Strategy in regard to a focus on the individual, their strengths, choices, assets, and goals through person centred planning. The aim would be to support service users to understand as much as they can with respect to their available opportunities.

116. Who’s responsible for finding work placements for adults?

If the draft Strategy was approved, consideration would be given to what the best approach would be to supporting individuals, if they are able, into employment.

117. We know the service users and carers get value for money at their day centres –mainly at Harborne R.C. Many of the activities provided including independent living skills, cooking, arts and crafts, computers, reading, writing, numbers, money management, support with self- advocacy, sports, walks and exercise, dance and many more opportunities-which cannot be faulted as these are set to meet individual needs and all of which are not carried out in isolation but with the interaction of their peer group – why fixing this when it does not need fixing !?

The Draft Day Opportunities Strategy is for all day services across Birmingham. The activities that you have identified as taking place at Harborne Day Centre is not the same for all centres. The draft Strategy, were it to be implemented, would ensure that all citizens would enjoy their desired outcomes.

118. I understand parks etc. are free activities, but what happens during inclement weather and for service users who may have respiratory problems?

The expectation is that managers would plan any activity in line with a detailed and informed risk assessment process. This would ensure that alternative arrangements are in place for inclement weather.

119. Community involvement costs! The service users may say that they would enjoy more daytrips or outings from the centre. Where will the money come from to attend these regular outings? Realistically, how often do you go out and participate in activities 7 days a week (all day)? Would you have the money to do this?

The expectation is that there would be a person centred approach to all social activities which will support the outcomes of the individual Social Activities would be part of a menu of activities within the service and so it may be reasonable to assume that these would not take place 7 days a week. As part of the Draft Day Opportunities Strategy and in line with the Care Act 2014, individuals can exercise choice and control and choose to use their allocated budgets differently.

120. Skills are being mentioned - how and where will the individuals get their skills from/improve on their skills if they go to the pub/café/ shops everyday – and is this realistic?

The expectation is that there is a balance between social activities and the focus on skills development. While going to the shops everyday may be a desired outcome for some individuals, the expectation is that in line with a person centred approach, there will be a menu of activities to meet a variety of needs/outcomes.

121. What transport is in place to take an individual to activities if a carer works?

Transport needs are considered on a case by case basis.

122. Can we have a carers helpline run by BCC?

Forward Carers is a West Midlands based carer support service and it is supported by Birmingham City Council. The aim is simple – to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of carers, young and old, including parent carers, so that families stay healthier and happier together, for longer.
On this website, you will find useful information on how to look after yourself and manage your caring role, with advice and tips designed with carers across the West Midlands in mind. As well as this, you can find out about all of the support and services available in your area by going to the Local Services section of the website.

Forward Carers website

123. Have you thought about carers needs?

As a carer you are entitled to a social care assessment in your own right. A carer’s assessment is a discussion with you that will help us understand the physical, emotional and practical impact that caring has on your life and to ensure you can access appropriate support services to help you in your role. If you are carer for an adult and caring has a major impact on your life, you can talk to Birmingham Carers Hub about the help and support you may need. This is called a carer's assessment which Birmingham Carers Hub undertakes on behalf of Birmingham City Council. This can happen even if the adult you care for is unwilling to accept help. Your assessment gives you the chance to discuss your needs.

To request a carers assessment, please contact

Birmingham Carers Hub:

  • By email: info@birminghamcarershub.org.uk
  • By phone: 0333 006 9711

Birmingham City Council:

124. What will happen to service users in the future when the parents/carers become too old to look after them or pass away?

As with any change of circumstances that impact on an individual this may require a re-assessment.

125. Where can I get dementia information from BCC?

Birmingham City Council has a Connect 2 Support website that can direct you to dementia services and information.

Dementia services information

126. Can carers be given more support, e.g. free travel passes?

Forward Carers is a West Midlands based carer support service and it is supported by Birmingham City Council. On this website, you will find useful information on how to look after yourself and manage your caring role, with advice and tips designed with carers across the West Midlands in mind. As well as this, you can find out about all of the support and services available in your area by going to the Local Services section of the website.

Forward Carers website

127. Will there be any future CQC inspections?

Day centres are not currently inspected by CQC. And therefore CQC will not be carrying out any inspections.

128. What if something serious happens with a Day Centre such as a safeguarding incident?

All staff within day centres across Birmingham are expected to be aware of, and have completed, Safeguarding Adults training.

129. When a package of care has been approved (day Centre Package) why don’t the service users have an allocated social worker?

The process that Birmingham City Council applies is that once an individual's needs have been addressed then the case is "closed". A case would be re-opened if circumstances change or a review is scheduled.

130. Can social workers become part of the co-production groups commissioning team and social workers have a very different agenda?

Co-production can include service users, carers, service providers and professionals.

131. Some people who have reservations about the model believe it would mean a cessation of the day service for them and that they will be left isolated – How will you ensure that this is not the case?

One of the key principles of the draft Strategy is person centred planning. The assessed needs of each individual will be considered and the best possible package of support will be developed to respond to identified aspirations and outcomes.

132. What support would be required if the proposed model was chosen?

The approach that works most effectively always puts service users and carers at the centre and builds support around them. Person centred planning focuses on the individual, their strengths, choices, assets, and goals identify the best package of support.

133. How many similar initiatives have been started and failed?

This is the first time the proposed aspirations in the draft Strategy and the proposed service model have been contained in a Birmingham based draft Day Opportunities strategy.

134.18 plus – Are BCC speaking to schools at transition?

The consultation has included special educational needs schools and colleges for young people at the transition to adulthood stage of their life.

135. How will the new model connect to mental health services, e.g. Community Psychiatric Nurses?

It might be in the future if the draft strategy is adopted that a range of specialist support services may work in partnership with day opportunities providers.

136. Most of the carers are of pensionable age and many more mature service users value the routine of fixed days and times, which provides a structure to their week; physical safety and access; and the sense of security from being in an environment with familiar faces and routines. How would this be met in the new model?

The proposals in the draft Strategy are intended to include the needs and interests of a wide range of people. Person centred planning would mean that each individual would have a package of support that best supports their needs and the outcomes that they wish to achieve. Making sure that carers are supported as well is part of the proposals.

137. Safety procedures & safeguarding – Have these been really looked into? There are many individuals with little or no communication, what happens in the case of safeguarding? The disabled person is unable to report of anything that happens to them – It leave things open to abuse!

In line with the Care Act 2014 continuous care assessment and planning must factor in any potential risk and how to mitigate against it. All service providers will be expected to be able to demonstrate best practice in safeguarding vulnerable adults.

138. Is there a mapping exercise that the service users can access to find out what services are available?]

Neighbourhood Networks Scheme Community Assets Directory

139. How are you going to find different care and support services in our area? There is only the day centre in Quinton.

There is currently work being done as part of the Local Area Co-ordination Scheme across the city to identify existing services to support adults with a range of interest and support needs.

140. Will we be given a list of what all of the opportunities are?

Birmingham City Council seeks to develop a suite of information regarding the various activities that are available in the wider community. We continue to work with providers to share the various opportunities on offer so that in turn these can be made available to you.

141. Will questionnaires which have been submitted before the amendments now become obsolete?

No. The consultation analysis process will consider all responses received.

142. The Questionnaire is one sided? If I tick this are my comments going to matter?

Yes. The consultation analysis process will consider all responses received.

143. Will the council actually look at the Cabinet Report? Will there be proof Cabinet have looked at the report?

Cabinet meetings can be accessed by members of the public and are also streamed live via the Birmingham City Council website.

Cabinet meetings live stream

144. How are you going to change public attitudes about disabled people?

Changing public attitudes is often a long process. Addressing issues of this nature requires a multi-agency approach and is not the sole responsibility of Adult Social Care.

145. Are BCC still buying services from Capita for computers/IT?

Yes. There remains a contract until 2021 for services including data centre management, bulk print and telephony.

146. What incentives are being used to encourage schools and businesses to be trained to understand complex communicative technology?

In the context of Day Opportunities if the draft Strategy were to be implemented following the consultation analysis and subsequent decisions by Cabinet there will be an emphasis on the use of communication technology by any service provider.

147. Will the analysis report be accurate and representative?

The report will be formed from the analysis of all feedback received across the consultation period.

148. Many believe that the personalisation of day services offers real opportunities for people with learning disabilities to have greater access and active participation in their local community. How would you ensure that the market place is sufficiently developed to offer a range of inclusive opportunities?

The key aspirations of the proposed Strategy refer to people accessing more activities in their own community and making the most of the vibrant city that is Birmingham. This will require Birmingham City Council and service providers across the city to work together to ensure that the best possible offer of a range of inclusive opportunities is available for people with a wide range of support needs.

149. What’s wrong with the system we have now?

The Council recognises that people value day opportunities. This draft Strategy aims to provide a clear set of design principles and actions to support further development of day opportunities in Birmingham to ensure there is sufficient and accessible provision for those that need it.

150. Why is there a consultation taking place now?

Adult social care is going through a transformation as the demand on services increases year on year with an ageing population and increase in younger people with disabilities. The Council’s Vision for Adult Social Care 2017 for Birmingham is aiming to meet the challenge of increasing demand by supporting citizens to be more resilient, independent, to exercise choice and control and to enjoy good health and well-being. The Vision and the challenge of increasing demand have informed the development of the draft Day Opportunities Strategy.

151. Is the consultation also about externalising some of the Day Services under BCC? Will BCC be tendering services?

There are no plans currently to externalise Services under Birmingham City Council. There are no plans to tender services.

152. Can we have GOLDD back in South Birmingham (like at Fairways)?

GOLDD operates within three of the City Council's centres. The Fairway's GOLDD is still operating as are Beeches GOLLD and Alderman Bowen Elders Group.

153. How will BCC support citizens to get paid jobs?

The PURE project is a part-funded European Social Funded project. It brings together a range of coordinated interventions which will assist the needs of citizens with barriers into the employment market. With the support of PURE Intervention Workers, they will support, guide and mentor individuals through to Employment, Education or Training.

PURE project information

154. Will there be any funding for a citizen to travel to and from work?

If you have a disability which makes it hard for you to travel to work you can apply for an Access to Work grant to pay for assistance getting to and from work.

155. Over 18 finished college, desperate for jobs – Is there moderation on what you able to do?

A project has been brought together by Birmingham City Council and its Partners / Providers. The PURE project is a part-funded European Social Funded project. It brings together a range of coordinated interventions which will assist the needs of citizens with barriers into the employment market. With the support of PURE Intervention Workers, they will support guide and mentor individuals through to Employment, Education or Training.