Frequently asked questions

Why did the review take place?

The way in which people in Devon wish to access day services is changing.

More people are choosing to use money allocated to them by the County Council through personal budgets to pursue hobbies and interests, or access local activities, groups and clubs  and, since 2005, the numbers of people accessing day centres have fallen by nearly 66%.

Service users have told the County Council that it needs to respond and modernise, and consider a more flexible service that meets the changing needs of clients and carers.

Over the past four years Devon County Council has reduced its spending from £600 million a year to £500 million by cutting waste, reducing management and staff numbers.

The latest Government spending review means we now need to save a further £100 million over the next three years.

To do this we have to look again at everything we do and make tough choices about a number of services including day services for adults and whether DCC’s day centres are required in their current form into the future. Having carefully considered the key messages from the Community Life Choices Strategy, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Committee has agreed

  • to explore how the range of community based day opportunities can be improved
  • to a review of in-house day service provision against agreed criteria.

What is the Community Life Choices Strategy?

In 2012, consultation on Devon County Council’s Community Life Choices Strategy, which recommends the modernisation of day services and opportunities, was carried out with people with physical and sensory disabilities, mental health issues, learning disabilities, older people and carers. Staff, care and support providers were also consulted.

They told us that there is a need for a greater range of day opportunities in community settings and for the development of community enabling; for community based day opportunities in all areas of Devon; that smaller group spaces with improved facilities were preferred; and help and information is needed for people to access universal services.

People with complex needs say that for the minority who need day centres, they should be modernised and offer more choice, with better integration within the local community.

The County Council’s Strategy describes a range of different levels of support. They include:

  • Basic advice and signposting to existing services available to everyone in the community, for people with needs that are below the Council’s eligibility criteria.
  • For people wanting support because of rural isolation, or loss of independence, the Council will provide time-limited help geared towards redirecting or helping them access services that are available to everyone, for as long as possible, to delay or minimise use of the Council’s funded day services.
  •  For people who are eligible for, and need on-going support, the Council will encourage use of personal budgets or direct payments as a way of getting that support, working with providers of universal services, voluntary and community groups and care providers, to promote a greater range of affordable community based opportunities.
  • For people with very intensive care needs who may need access to a buildings-based service, the Council wants to make sure that their services, and those of others in the independent and voluntary sector, are meeting people’s changing needs and demands for appropriate facilities.

Who does this affect?

Anyone currently using a day centre run by Devon County Council or caring for someone who currently attends, day centre staff and care management staff. Other stakeholders including independent and voluntary sector providers, councillors, health representatives, and any groups or individuals with an interest in day services.

What consultation took place?

Client, Carer and Stakeholder Consultation took place from 3rd February 2014 – 19th March 2014 including;

  • Client/carer and Member consultation meetings
  • Personal facilitated conversations with clients at the centres
  • Stakeholder events

Staff consultation took place from 30th January 2014 – 19th March 2014 including;

  • Staff consultation on draft structure
  • Staff meetings

All of the consultation responses were collated and considered in full.

What decision has been made?

Careful consideration was given to a number of factors including financial constraints and consultation findings and the decision has been made that Devon County Council will no longer provide day services for older people and people with learning disabilities, except in areas of insufficient alternative provision.

Following further consideration of the matter at the Council’s People Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 26 June, the decision is final and can be acted upon.

What happens to centres identified for change or closure?

Although the decision can now be implemented, please be assured that this will happen over a phased period of time. If your centre is closing, we will work with you, your families and carers to help find you a new day service or support either through the voluntary or independent sector.

If the service is moving/changing, we will work with you to support you through this change.

If your day service is in phase one the transition team will provide you with immediate support.

If your day service is in the subsequent phases we will contact you nearer the time to discuss your needs and the alternative provision that is available locally. This will include taster sessions wherever possible. The transition team will also be available in the centre nearer the time to talk to you about any concerns you may have.
We fully appreciate that this is a very difficult time for all those affected but changes will not take place overnight and all your care needs will be very carefully considered throughout this time.

How do I find out more and get involved?

A dedicated mailbox has been set up for any questions or queries regarding the review. Please email  or call Care Direct on 0345 1551012.