Special needs boost
Buckinghamshire County Council has approved a £3.5million investment for a new, improved residential centre in Aylesbury which will provide high quality short breaks for people who have a learning disability, autism or physical and sensory disability.
The decision means while the current day service will be retained at Beaconsfield, the overnight short breaks service will move into redeveloped premises in Aylesbury.
Lin Hazell, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: ‘Buckinghamshire is in the fortunate position of already having a suitable site at Aylesbury Opportunities Centre which will be upgraded to provide a state-of-the-art facility. The building currently used is not fit for purpose and the new site gives us the opportunity to make significant improvements such as more bed capacity and the additional offer of nursing care.
‘We have listened to families who use the service and taken on board their concerns about how changes would affect them, and would like to thank those who have been involved in the consultation process.’
The council’s decision to develop a new short breaks centre does not affect the Day Opportunities Service which Seeleys provides for residents with a range of disability needs.
During the development of the new centre, services currently offered at Aylesbury Opportunities Centre will be relocated, and all affected clients and families will continue to have access to support the services.
Dr Raj Bajwa, Clinical Chair for Buckinghamshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ‘We welcome the decision by Buckinghamshire County Council, which will ensure the provision of a short breaks facility which is fit for the 21st century.
‘It is a first for Buckinghamshire to have a service which is jointly commissioned and brings together both the resources and the funding in a partnership between health and social care. Being able to offer an improved respite facility across the whole county for people who have multiple needs which are complex, or who have additional behavioural requirements, is a very positive step.’