Our Man in West­min­ster

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion -

There is con­sid­er­able anx­i­ety in Ten­ter­den about the fu­ture fund­ing of ser­vices pro­vided by the Day Cen­tre, when the sys­tem changes next year. The Ten­ter­den Day Cen­tre is a model of how to help el­derly peo­ple who might oth­er­wise be­come iso­lated in their own homes. In the cir­cum­stances it was help­ful to hear the views of Kent’s manag­ing di­rec­tor of adult ser­vices, Oliver Mills, at the Day Cen­tre last week. He pointed out that there are three big chal­lenges; that peo­ple are liv­ing longer, that our ex­pec­ta­tions of the qual­ity of life for el­derly peo­ple are ris­ing, and that more peo­ple want to live at home. All of th­ese chal­lenges are the re­sult of ben­e­fi­cial de­vel­op­ments, but they do mean that the de­liv­ery of ser­vices has to be done in a dif­fer­ent way. Es­sen­tially, from next year all those who want it will have a per­sonal bud­get, so they can de­cide which ser­vices they want to pay for. Ob­vi­ously this could have a knock-on ef­fect for in­sti­tu­tions like day cen­tres, as it could make it more dif­fi­cult for them to plan which ser­vices they need to pro­vide. At the same time the change is de­signed to al­low more of the money pro­vided to be spent at the sharp end, rather than in bu­reau­cracy. The so­lu­tion be­tween now and next April, when the change comes in, is for in­for­ma­tion to flow freely be­tween the coun­cil and its older clients, and those who are help­ing them. The Day Cen­tre is an in­ter­est­ing test of how this will work, as it pro­vides ser­vices not just for older peo­ple but also for younger dis­abled peo­ple. One thing that must not be al­lowed to hap­pen is that the Day Cen­tre’s ac­tiv­i­ties are weak­ened. It pro­vides a great ser­vice which is not avail­able oth­er­wise, and it should be helped to flour­ish un­der the new regime.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.