Carers to help shape new short breaks

(Last Updated On: July 23, 2015)

Carers of people with a learning disability will be given the opportunity to co-design new short break services over the coming months.

Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust will be holding a series 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 to seek these new options for short breaks and look at ways in which carers can use and combine their personal budget allowances to find better suited alternatives.

Dr Sonja Manton, Chief Operating Officer at Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust said: “Short breaks are absolutely vital to carers and their wellbeing. We know that some carers are already moving away from traditional overnight breaks and looking at alternatives that better meet their needs and lifestyle.

“We have very much seen this trend reflected in the declining use of our own facility Baytree House and we want to take this opportunity to go back to the drawing board and develop a range of new short breaks that will benefit carers and their loved ones for years to come.

“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 on the future of short breaks.”

Torbay Council’s Executive Lead for Adults, Councillor Julien Parrott, said: “The council is responsible for adult social care and as a commissioner we think it is right and proper that carers have a full say on redesigning the services they need. Carers do an amazing job and take on huge responsibilities. I would encourage all carers of people with a disability to  work with the Trust so they can receive the best possible support.”

Meetings will take place between carers and the Trust over the next few months to come up with a number of new short breaks options. 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.


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