Carers chance to co-design new short breaks

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2015)

Carers of people with a learning disability will be able to help co-design new short break services at a series of meetings in September and October.

Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust will be holding a number of meetings to look at new options for respite care and short breaks. The aim is to create a wider breadth of sustainable services that meet people’s needs now and in the future.

The Trust wants to work with carers of people with a learning disability to develop new options for short breaks and look at ways in which carers can use and combine their personal budget allowances to find an alternative to the current service, at Baytree House.

Dr Sonja Manton, Chief Operating Officer at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust said: “Carers are experts in their care and that of their loved ones and we want to work with them to develop a range of new short breaks that will benefit them for years to come.

“We have already held a meeting with carers who use Baytree House, our in house respite facility, to understand their thoughts and ideas around new short break options but we now want to widen those discussions.

“By working together with carers we believe we can design a range of alternatives that not only give people more choice and control over their chosen short break but ensure quality, reliability and sustainability in our services.”

Baytree House is an eight bed unit that provides overnight respite care. The facility, which is run by the Trust, has seen a decline in use over recent years with only a 45 percent occupancy rate during 2014-2015. In addition to this, the Trust has seen an increase in the number of clients who do use the facility having more complex care needs, meaning it may not always be the best care setting for that individual.

The Trust has carefully considered a number of options to improve occupancy and ensure a sustainable, fit for purpose facility, but these have not proved viable. By looking to close the unit and reinvest the combined personal budget allowance into new options for short breaks the Trust believes it can find modern, reliable, and high quality alternatives that can better meet people’s needs now and in the future.

Dr Manton added: “Whilst carers who currently use Baytree House will be heavily involved in creating new alternatives this is an opportunity for all carers of someone with a learning disability to share their thoughts the future of short breaks.”

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Adults and Children, Councillor Julien Parrott, said: “It’s really important that carers of people with a disability have their say and help shape the services that will give them the best possible support. As a council, we are responsible for adult social care and we want the services we commission to meet the needs of our residents. Carers do an amazing job and take on huge responsibilities and I would like to thank them for their support so far and would encourage them to continue to make the most of this opportunity.”

Meetings to create the new short break options will take place between carers and the Trust over the next few months. The options will then be put out to consultation later in the year. Baytree House will remain fully operation until any new provision has been established.

The first of the wider co-design sessions will take place on 22nd September at 2pm and 7pm. If you are a carer of someone with a learning disability and you would like to attend please contact 01803 210500 to express your interest in attending. Further information is also available at


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