Proposals to realign day services for older people in Leeds

Council chiefs will be asked to give the green light to a consultation about the future of four day centres for older people in the city at their executive board meeting next week.

The centres have been reviewed as part of ongoing work looking at what services are currently provided for older people, and how these can be realigned to ensure that the needs and demands of future generations can be met most effectively.

Against the backdrop of reducing government funding, the council is faced with the challenge of how to improve choice and standards, achieve better outcomes and meet the increasing aspirations of older people in Leeds. This will require a shift away from outdated facilities with limited popularity, towards more modern facilities and the better use of personal budgets and integrated services.

Despite the increase in the proportion of older people living in the city, a review of council day services has identified that average attendance across all 14 day centres is just 42%. This downward trend can be attributed to an increase in the number of alternative services based in local communities, organised and run by local people, which offer a range of practical and social support to help older people live independently.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for adult social care in Leeds said:

“We understand that older people can feel very anxious about change, and I would like to assure everyone affected by these proposals that their views and wishes will be taken into consideration during the consultation, if approved.

“Our strong commitment to facilitating better lives for the growing number of older people that live in Leeds is at the heart of these proposals. The review has shown that, with less than half of the places in council-run day centres now being taken up, we have a real opportunity to re-evaluate our services and look closely at what else is available across the city.

"A great example of an alternative to a traditional day centre is Holt Park Active, which opens later this year. This fantastic venue will offer activities for people of all ages and abilities at the heart of the local community, and help people to access healthy lifestyles.”

The council is seeking approval to start a detailed consultation with the service users of four of its day centres for older people in March. Dedicated members of adult social care staff will meet with each service user and their family/carers to talk through the options available and assess their ongoing care needs and wishes.

The proposals are to close the day centres at Burley Willows, Naburn Court and Queenswood Drive, and transfer customers to new or existing services in the local community. It is also proposed to develop the role of the Doreen Hamilton building so that it can play a wider role in the life of the local community, and help people who currently use the older people’s day centre to find alternative daytime support within the local area.

Councillor Yeadon added:

“The council continues to deal with a challenging financial situation and with an increasing number of older people with high care needs to take care of we simply cannot continue to do things exactly the same way that they have always been done.

“We need to continue to develop our close work with the NHS, and the independent and voluntary sectors to ensure that a wide range of cost effective activities are available to support older people to live the lives that they want to in Leeds.”


Notes to editors

Currently there are 116,600 people over the age of 65 living in Leeds, representing 14.6% of the overall population of the city. This figure will increase to 129,800 by 2020 (15.3% of population) and by 2030 to 153,800 (16.9% of population).

A growing number of older people are now choosing to live in their own homes for longer, meaning that better choice and control over their local services is increasingly important.

All adults with social care needs are entitled to self-directed support provided through a personal budget. Self-directed support works in a creative and positive way to support older people with their daily tasks and social activities, so they can enjoy the same freedom, choice and control as the rest of society. This could be to attend a course, carry out daily chores to increase independence, attend a fitness class, or go to a football match or the cinema. Leeds has made significant progress in extending the use of personal budgets. Currently around 61% of Leeds citizens receiving a community care service or carer specific service receive their support in the form of a personal budget.

The development of Holt Park Active in the west of the city will provide a wide range of inclusive activities and facilities for people to be active, socialise and learn new skills as an alternative to a traditional day centre. Holt Park Active is the result of a successful bid made by the council for £28.894m of government private finance initiative credits (PFI) from the Department of Health.

Neighbourhood network schemes are community based, locally managed organisations that enable older people to live independently, and provide services that help to reduce social isolation, provide opportunities for volunteering, offer advice and information, and promote health and wellbeing to their customers. The council continue to provide funding and support to 40 neighbourhood network schemes in Leeds to help them expand their work to support a wider range of older people, including those with more complex needs.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk