Consultation on changing short break services for children and adults in Bucks

Library image showing a boy using one of Bucks County Council's short break services
Library image showing a boy using one of Bucks County Council's short break services

Bucks County Council has launched a consultation over its plans to modernise short break services for both children and adults.

The consultation started yesterday (Monday) and covers anything that could be defined as a break for either a child or adult who acts in a caring capacity.

In this context, a short break can be anything from overnight residential care to a horse riding class.

Warren Whyte, Bucks County Council cabinet member for children's services and Lin Hazell, council cabinet member for health and wellbeing spoke jointly about the reasons for the consultation.

The councillors said: "We want to make sure that people can access a wide range of short-break options close to where they live.

"Although short breaks are a vital part of supporting carers they do not have to be in a residential setting.

"Our current short breaks offer does not provide enough flexibility and choice."

Short breaks can include day, evening, overnight, weekend or holiday activities and take place in an individual's own home, the home of an approved carer or in the local community.

Councillors Hazell and Whyte added: "We want to make sure that the money we have for short breaks is spent where it is most needed.

"Carers provide most of the care in our communities and without them public services would struggle to cope.

"However we do have to consider budgets and we believe that by modernising short break services we can meet need and make the best use of the resources we have."

Parents, carers and service users will help to draft policies which once finalised and agreed will guide how short break services are delivered in the future.

To get to that stage the council has to do a consultation on the features included and is seeking the public's views on the following points:

> What a short break service is
> How to make access to short break services fair
> How to decide who is eligible for short break services
> How to make sure people get the right type of short break to meet their needs
> How to fund some types of short breaks

Anyone who uses short break services, or wants to have a say on shaping how they will look going forward is welcome to join in the consultation.

To have your say complete an online questionnaires on the ‘Have your say’ pages of the council's website which can be accessed here: www.buckscc.gov.uk

Alternatively you can have your say by dropping into a consultation session at any of the county's libraries.

The consultations in Aylesbury Vale are at Aylesbury library, within the study centre on Thursday November 15 between 10am and 12noon or at Buckingham Library on Wednesday November 21 between 10am and 12noon.