People given more choice and control about their support

PUBLISHED: 11:01 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 14:42 09 April 2010

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2 - People with learning disabilities who are eligible for social care are to have more choice and control over where and how they receive the support they need.

PEOPLE with learning disabilities who are eligible for social care are to have more choice and control over where and how they receive the support they need.

Devon County Council and Devon Primary Care Trust are collaborating with Guinness Care and Support (GCS), one of the county's largest providers of residential care for people with learning disabilities, to see how support for their residents could be improved.

As part of a national scheme, they have begun with Guinness Care and Support in reassessing how they could be giving people more choice and control over their services.

Over the next two years, each of the 175 residents will individually decide how they might like to be supported including where they would most like to live and identifying what they like doing now and what they would like to do more of in future.

Guinness Care and Support's Director of Strategic Projects, Marina Caston, said: "We are a forward looking provider and welcome this considered approach as it gives us the opportunity to respond to what people will want in the future."

The idea is that once a person has developed their own plan an individual budget will be calculated to meet their needs - they can then see how the budget is calculated to buy the support they need.

At the moment Devon still has more people with learning disabilities living in residential homes than in any other type of accommodation, but the County Council expects that number to decline over time as more choice and more support becomes available.

GCS provides care services to people with learning disabilities across Exeter, East and Mid Devon, with 23 residential homes.

Devon County Council's Executive Member for Adult and Community Services, Councillor Hugo Barton said: "We know, because people with learning disabilities have told us, that given more choice and support, many would choose to live in different circumstances than traditional residential care.

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