New funding lifeline for disability centres
Council’s reprieve for under-threat services
13.10.2017 Families fighting to save disability services have been told they will remain open into next year.
Capability Scotland insists doors will not close after extra cash was found.
Renfrewshire Council handed activists a reprieve by agreeing to fund the sites into the spring.
Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, chairperson of the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integration Joint Board, insists campaigners will be supported no matter what happens.
She said: “We have listened to the concerns of carers and service users, who voiced their concerns around the closures and the pace of change for their family members.
“We have communicated with carers throughout and ensured their voice was heard and I thank them for their patience on this.
“Agreement has been made to secure extra funding to extend the service while an alternative solution is sought.
“Service users have told us how important day centres are to them.
“They enjoy the friendships they have developed, the opportunity to learn new skills and they have asked that services remain local to them.
“We will continue to work to provide a tailored service that meets the outcomes that matter to them.
“This has been our priority since day one.”
Capability Scotland revealed centres at Whitehaugh, in Paisley, and West Lane Gardens, in Johnstone, would close due to lack of funds earlier this year.
Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership met last month and agreed to keep services going until January.
But this has been extended until April after further money was set aside.
Councillor Derek Bibby, member for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, led calls for an intervention to save the services.
Local authority chiefs have also launched a search to find a care provider willing to step in long-term.
Council leader Iain Nicolson says efforts are being made to make sure families are provided for.
He said: “This issue is one that the whole council felt was important to get behind as it impacted on a number of individuals and services that are important to them.
“The council, as a partner to the Health and Social Care Partnership, has been actively working to ensure that the necessary time and resources required were available.
“I am delighted that the council has facilitated and assisted in that aspect.
“We will continue to work with the Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure any way we can that good outcomes are achieved for the service users and their families.”
The Capability Scotland centres offer support to adults and young people with learning difficulties.
Campaigners have written to each of Renfrewshire’s 43 elected members asking them to find a solution to the closures – including one man who has been using the service for 52 years.
Around 20 workers have also been left fearing for their jobs after it was announced the services would be axed.
Councillors have called for an update at an Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Integrated Joint Board meeting on November 24.
Action stations Councillor Derek Bibby spoke out on behalf of worried families