Social care support will continue despite suspension of council day services, Northumberland chiefs reassure

Northumberland County Council has given assurances that it will continue to provide social care support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 17th April 2020, 11:51 am
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 11:52 am

It comes after a local charity which delivers commissioned social care services to vulnerable adults raised concerns about the suspension of day service contracts.

Elspeth McPherson, chief executive of Journey Enterprises, said: “As a small regional charity supporting 171 adults with complex disability, conditions such as Down’s, Williams, Prader-Willi and cerebral palsy, this is a very significant and serious announcement with substantial impact for the families we support.”

The charity derives 40 per cent of its income from council clients who are placed in day service because of their significant care and support needs.

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County Hall in Morpeth.

A council spokesperson responded: “The council values highly the range of day services for people with care and support needs in the county, and is taking steps to ensure that their future is not at risk because of the Covid-19 emergency.

“As a result of public health advice about social distancing, many of the people who usually attend day services told us that they did not want to continue going during the emergency. Most of the organisations providing day services have decided as a result to suspend their operations, and the council has also suspended operation of its own day services.

“We are discussing with all these organisations how we can make sure that they will be able to resume operating when the emergency ends. Where necessary, we have agreed to provide financial support to these organisations while the services are temporarily suspended.

“There seems to have been some confusion in a few cases, with organisations believing that the council was making a decision to cease funding them. This is not the case.

“We have reviewed the needs of all of the people who usually attend day services which have suspended their operation.

“During this unprecedented time, there are fewer social opportunities during the national ‘lockdown’, but where day services provided a person with essential personal care or other support, we have made sure it will continue to be provided in other ways.”

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