Solar Centre: NHS to pick up part of council bill for day services for adults with learning disabilities in Doncaster

The NHS will pick up a chunk of the bill to fund day activities for adults with learning difficulties in Doncaster.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 15:06 pm
Updated Monday, 10th June 2019, 17:01 pm
Picture shows Solar Centre at St Catherine's hospital in Doncaster. Picture: Rossparry.co.uk/Chris Fairweather

As part of a cost-cutting measure, Doncaster Council is handing over part of the budget to Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for them to provide services at the Solar Centre in Balby.

The centre is run by Rotherham Doncaster & South Humberside NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) and the council commission the trust to provide day opportunities for people.

Councillors heard the number of people attending the centre has fallen dramatically mainly due to alternative provision being found.

It comes as Doncaster Council carried out a consultation with service users and their families to transfer people away from RDaSH residential services to a supported living model.

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The review found that some people continued to need a building-based service to meet their complex needs.

Coun Rachael Blake, cabinet member for adult social care, said people value the Solar Centre as it offered specialist services in a 'safe, caring and supportive environment’.

A formal tender process was undertaken and in March 2019 and private provider Walsingham Support were awarded the contract to provide supported living services to individuals currently living in the nine RDaSH residential care homes.

The contract is due to commence on July 1.

The current contract for the Solar Centre is due to end on 30th June 30, 2019.

An extension is set to be agreed with RDaSH for a further nine months, to allow for continuity of service.

Health and social care bosses say a unspecified cost reduction for the council ‘should be achieved’ as part of the contract extension due to the decrease in attendance levels of social care clients

At present, the council foots all of the £605,000 budget but the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will pay now pay over half of the share from July 1.

Coun Blake said: “Over the past two years, the number of people with a learning disability attending Solar Centre has declined – predominantly due to alternative provision being found.

“The council has referred one person in the past 12 months, but the number of people with health needs has not declined.

At the end of the transition period of nine months, it is anticipated that there will be a remaining cohort of approximately 20 individuals needing a building based service to meet their complex needs, eight individuals have health related

needs which is the CCG responsibility, eight individuals have social care needs which remain the responsibility of the council and four individuals have both health and social care needs will require joint funding.”