Ian Wake presented the report that following a meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 17 June 2021, proposals were discussed regarding the closure of the Council’s meal delivery scheme and the consolidation of the three existing day care centres into one at Cromwell Road. At this meeting, members requested a further service user consultation be undertaken which started in July 2021 and involved face-to-face and telephone discussions with service users and their families.
Dawn Shepherd outlined the outcomes of that consultation and highlighted that:
· Out of the 47 service users who attended the two closing day care centres only five would not be willing to attend Cromwell Road centre because of the distance but all five had alternative support in place; and
· Out of the 89 service users receiving meals from the delivery scheme, only 24 had no alternative support in place and would need a service in the future.
Members were informed the second phase would commence undertaking a more detailed assessment and tailoring of packages and options for those who still needed a service. That one service would not take over the entire meal delivery scheme it would be introducing multiple options in order to find bespoke outcomes in line with our desire to be person-centred and to offer choice and control to service users. Members were reassured that the meal delivery scheme would only cease when all current service users had an alternative suitable service in place. This would be communicated to service users and their families in due course.
Councillor Ralph thanked officers for the positive outcome of the consultation and commented that those 24 service users would further down the line need to have those reassurances that the service would not cease. Councillor Ralph also commented that he was pleased to hear of the other ways of support and meals delivered.
Councillor Holloway thanked officers for the work undertaken on the consultation and questioned whether there were any plans in place for the 24 services users to be assessed. Councillor Holloway also had concerns that some older people would not be aware that this support and the offer of hot meals would be still available. Dawn Shepherd stated this would start on Monday 8 November and anticipated this would take six to eight weeks to complete and hoped to provide a briefing note to members by the end of December. In regards to people knowing about the service, at present users come through the assessment process and could still come through the single point of access. Also that Thurrock First was a point of access but there were a lot of options available which people were aware of. That advertising or making people aware would be down to those individual groups out in the community and the council would encourage them to continue to advertise and make people aware.
Members discussed the bespoke services available and how quality and nutrition checks could be undertaken but all agreed that meals would be defined by individuals and having those different options available may actually help with their quality of life.
Ian Wake concluded by reassuring members that the meal delivery scheme would only cease when all current service users had an alternative suitable service in place.
That the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the consultation outcome.