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Rhondda Cynon Taf: Changes to be considered for elderly day services

CHANGES to day services for the elderly in Rhondda Cynon Taf would see two day centres in the Cynon Valley combined and one in Tonyrefail closed, with services moving to Pontypridd.

The proposals that are being put forward by the council and recently went before its community services scrutiny committee involve combining Trecynon and Cwmni Dda day centres by March 2024 and closing Tonyrefail day centre from April 2024 with services there being moved to the Cwrt yr Orsaf extra care facility in Pontypridd by March 2024.

The committee report said that both Trecynon and Cwmni Dda day centres are located on the same site on Llewellyn Street, Trecynon and continue to be underused so the proposal is that future services are provided at Cwmni Dda and that Trecynon day centre is closed which the council said would provide “opportunities for socialisation and activities between individuals accessing services while achieving more efficient service delivery.”

On the proposal for Tonyrefail, the report said that Cwrt yr Orsaf extra care in Pontypridd includes a new integrated day care provision, with daily capacity for up to 25 older people, the same as Tonyrefail day centre.

When open, the council said it will offer state-of-the-art facilities to support people with a range of care and support needs and provide them with a better and social environment including joint activities with residents such as the cinema room, hairdressing and gardening.

The report said: “Cwrt yr Orsaf provides a much better location to access the community outreach opportunities, providing a more flexible base service to further opportunities to increase individual outreach work in line the council’s new day service model approved by cabinet in September 2019.”

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The council’s current day services for older people is mainly building based and follows a traditional separated day centre model.

In adult services, there are three day centres for older people assessed as eligible for the service across Rhondda Cynon Taf; all of which provide a mid-day meal, a range of social activities and transport to and from the centre.

These include Tonyrefail day centre which provides a five-day-a-week service for up to 25 older people per day with 64 older people currently registered at the centre and an average daily attendance of 17 people.

Trecynon day centre provides a five-day-a-week service for up to 25 older people per day with 34 older people currently registered at the centre and an average daily attendance of 9 people.

And Cwmni Dda day centre in Trecynon provides a five-day-a-week service for up to 12 older people living with dementia per day. There are 21 older people currently registered at the centre with an average daily attendance of six people.

The committee report said: “Over a prolonged period, demand for day service provision for older people in this sort of traditional setting has been declining across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“Increasingly, people are choosing other models of care to meet their individual needs, including outreach support work. This way of working is far less dependent on building based routines and is supportive of people accessing universal services reconnecting people to their community.”

If approved, the council said that the Trecynon proposal will involve no change to an individual’s level of care and support they receive and that care staff will also be relocated with them to promote a seamless transition and to provide continuity of care.

The council said it could cause some disruption to the daytime support of the current attendees at both day centres during transfer and any such move would require careful management by staff from both centres.

The council said that officers will contact all current people registered at both day centres and their families to discuss the proposal with those directly affected and provide additional support and, if necessary, a reassessment to ensure their needs will be appropriately met.

The council said that all people registered at Tonyrefail Day Centre will be offered to transfer to Cwrt yr Orsaf or be supported to use different methods of achieving what matters to them.

Each person and their family will be offered the support of a social care worker or advocate to provide support and facilitate the move and care staff will also be relocated with day centre to promote a seamless transition and to provide continuity of care.

The council said that the transfer of services from Tonyrefail Day Centre to Cwrt yr Orsaf and the closure of the centre may cause anxiety for individuals who currently access the service and their families but offficers will contact all current people registered at Tonyrefail Day Centre, and their families to discuss the proposal with those directly affected and provide additional support, if necessary. It also said that staff structures will need to be reviewed and any potential employment implications for staff will need to be consulted upon before to any change in service.

The proposal could save the council around £140,000 a year and the council said that this would be ring-fenced and reinvested back into the adult services budget.

The proposals are due to go before the council’s cabinet on December 18.

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