Day services for older people and adults with learning disabilities are set to be re-located to state-of-the-art sites across South Tyneside.
From next spring there will be an expansion of day services offered from Jarrow Hub which is receiving a £3 million makeover and the council will also work with the management committee of Ocean Road Community Association in South Shields to further develop that as a base for day services.
In the future the council will look to use its other assets, such as Hebburn Central and Haven Court as venues for day services.
The move is part of the council’s long-term regeneration investment to update and enhance facilities in key locations, allowing communities to access a range of services from modern, multi-faceted facilities.
The council also wants to enable people to access activities right across South Tyneside more flexibly using the well-established personalised budgets programme.
As a result of the move, services currently offered at Perth Green Base in Jarrow and the Father James Walsh Centre in Hebburn will relocate next Spring.
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing at South Tyneside Council said: “Our vision for adult social care is to make sure those people eligible for services receive the care and support they need. We want to make sure that people are involved in their care and can be supported to make their own choices in a much more personalised way.
"By reducing the number of buildings we currently have, we can invest in modern facilities which are more sustainable for the future and connect people within their community.”
The number of people using the Father James Walsh Centre has dropped significantly in recent years with the average weekly number of sessions having fallen by a third since 2013, leaving only 78 registered users at the centre – only 19 of whom are from the immediate local area. The building at Perth Green will not be fit for purpose for the future and services can be better delivered at the state-of-the art facilities that the Council has, and continues to, invest in.
Coun Dixon added: "We recognise how important these services are to those who need them which is why we are committed to protecting them for the future. However, against a backdrop of unprecedented cuts in national government funding, we have taken a strategic approach to investing in modern services to deliver services in an innovative way.
“We are currently reviewing people’s needs and will continue to work with service users who require support and their families throughout this process. These changes will ensure that those people requiring a service will continue to have their needs met in the future.
"We recognise that changes of this nature can also be very unsettling for our staff. Although it is too early to say what these changes will mean for staff, we will continue to support them and will communicate with them and the Trades Unions as we continue along this journey.”