IT is “highly unlikely” that day care centres in Powys will all re-open as they were before Covid-19, a Social Services chief has said.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Health and Care scrutiny committee on Friday, January 26 councillors were going through the draft budget proposals for Adult Social Services for 2024/2025 when the subject of day care centres came up for discussion.
The draft budget is set to see adult services receive £80.664 from a total council budget of £340.7 million.
As part of the need to balance the budget, cuts and savings worth a total of £10.652 million will take place across the council.
Amongst a raft of savings proposals worth £1.614 million that adult services are supposed to make next year, £120,000 is predicted to come from “Older People Day Opportunities.”
From March 2020 day care centres were closed for public health reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The service has partially re-opened since then and there have been calls made to fully re-open the centres.
In November, the council started work on remodelling the provision with a potential move away from day care centres.
This could see more done to access services, organise actives, gain new skills and develop relationships at home, extra care, or residential homes.
The engagement exercise ran through from November to December 11 and included a number of faces to face drop in sessions.
Committee chairwoman, Conservative Cllr Amanda Jenner said: “I realise we’re in this transition period, day centres were closed during the pandemic and things haven’t gone back to how they were like before.”
She asked if the “engagement exercise” shows that people want to see day care centres re-opened to their pre-pandemic levels – would the £120,000 saving still be made?
Head of social services commissioning, Rachel Evans said that the figure was based on “modelling” encompassing all or the ideas for new day opportunities and that more detail would be given when the review is finalised.
Head of adult social services Sharon Frewin said: “It is highly unlikely that we’ll see an exact replica of what we had before, because people have moved on and want different things.”
Cabinet member for adult service Liberal Democrat Cllr Sian Cox explained: “We’re not asking people to say what the right services would look like, but asking people to tell us what a good day and a good life feels like for them.”
Using the data from the review Cllr Cox said that the emphasis was about making sure that a “patchwork of resources and opportunities” are available to allow people to have “wellbeing” days.
Cllr Jenner stressed that officers needed to recognise that day care centres are: “an emotive topic” for many people in the county.
Recommendations from the committee on the budget proposals will be put to the cabinet at a meeting next month.
In March 2020, 154 people attended Powys Day Centres for Older People, with 33 staff.
Powys Day Services for people with disabilities was attended by 124 people attended and had 70 staff.
The day centres are:
- Park Day Centre, Newtown.
- Maesywennol, Llanidloes.
- Arlais Day Centre, Llandrindod Wells.
- Arosfa, Brecon.
- Canolfan, Ystradgynlais.
- Day Centre at Bethshan, Newtown.
- East Radnor Day Centre, Presteigne.
- Hafal Crossroads, Machynlleth.
In September 2020, Welshpool Town Council closed the Ann Holloway Day Centre with the loss of five jobs.