Care for el­derly in the spot­light

Changes stressed after cen­tres close

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BUCKS County Coun­cil has moved to re­as­sure peo­ple that older res­i­dents are be­ing well cared for, after two high-pro­file day care cen­tres for the el­derly closed.

Read­ers urged the coun­cil to do more for the county’s el­derly after this pa­per re­ported the Dou­glas McMinn Cen­tre’s day care fa­cil­ity in Che­sham will close on Oc­to­ber 31, and that The Wed­nes­day Club, an Age Con­cern day cen­tre in Chal­font St Peter, closed last month. The coun­cil is work­ing to find a ‘suit­able al­ter­na­tive’ for the users of th­ese two fa­cil­i­ties.

Bucks has a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of older peo­ple, and part of the coun­cil’s role is to en­sure they re­ceive the care they need if they be­come vul­ner­a­ble. The coun­cil said it has had to re­think its ap­proach to do this in the face of pres­sure on bud­gets.

Key changes in­clude set­ting up Day Op­por­tu­nity Cen­tres, with the Che­sham one due to open in spring; start­ing its ‘preven­tion mat­ters’ pro­gramme, us­ing re­fer­rals from GP surg­eries as the pri­mary means of iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple in need; and hav­ing a net­work of com­mu­nity prac­tice work­ers to work with the clients; its re­able­ment ser­vice, which pro­vides short-term help to re­store in­de­pen­dence and con­fi­dence after some­one has suf­fered a set­back such as ill­ness or a fall. They are also en­ti­tled to care pay­ments which peo­ple can now spend as they see fit. In the past, the coun­cil would buy blocks of day care ser­vices from providers and clients would be obliged to use the avail­able places.

Spokesman Gra­ham Skeggs said: “When you con­sider all th­ese ini­tia­tives to­gether with the res­i­den­tial care sys­tem which re­mains to look after peo­ple when their needs be­come sig­nif­i­cant, it shows the way that Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil is work­ing with its part­ners to de­liver a wide range of op­tions to en­sure that the el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble have the best pos­si­ble care and support, which is fo­cused on pro­vid­ing qual­ity of life and main­tain­ing in­de­pen­dence when pos­si­ble.”

Do you think the el­derly are well looked after in Bucks? Email buck­snews@ trin­i­tysouth.co.uk. A GROUP ded­i­cated to pro­tect­ing the Chilterns has ap­pointed an act­ing chief of­fi­cer.

Kath Daly has been ap­pointed by the Chilterns Con­ser­va­tion Board.

She will be­gin her new role in Jan­uary 2015 for six months, fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment in De­cem­ber of Steve Ro­drick, who has held the post since 1994.

Chair­man of the board Ian Reay said: “Kath has been the board’s coun­try­side of­fi­cer since 2005 and we are de­lighted to an­nounce that she will take over from Steve early next year.

“The next three months will pro­vide a valu­able op­por­tu­nity to or­gan­ise a smooth han­dover.

“In the first half of 2015 Kath will have a key role in work­ing with the board to re­view how we man­age the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We ex­pect to make de­ci­sions about the long term next June.”

Mr Ro­drick wel­comed the ap­point­ment, say­ing: “Kath will do a great job and en­joys the full

The next three months will pro­vide a valu­able op­por­tu­nity to or­gan­ise

a smooth han­dover”

con­fi­dence of the staff, board mem­bers and, im­por­tantly, our part­ners.

“Kath is well known to many of those we work with and the con­ti­nu­ity she will pro­vide will be a real bonus in what re­main chal­leng­ing and change­able times.”

Con­trib­uted

NEW LEADER: Kath Daly

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