Care for elderly in the spotlight
Changes stressed after centres close
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.”
NEW LEADER: Kath Daly