County reviewing day service facility options

PEOPLE in East Sussex are being asked for their view on the future of council day services for people with learning disabilities, which will see the merging of a Hailsham facility with one in Eastbourne.

The council cabinet has agreed to review its day services to ensure people get what it says will be modern, fit-for-purpose buildings.

The consultation includes a proposal to merge Firstfields Day Centre in Hailsham into a refurbished Linden Court in Eastbourne covering the Eastbourne & South Wealden area.

The council is conducting two surveys, one specifically on the merger of Linden Court and Firstfields and also one covering the other day centres.

According to the council, there will still be a day service place for anyone with learning disabilities who needs one and they will be asked individually their views on the way forward.

There are six Learning Disability Day Centres provided by Adult Social Care, supporting 342 people.

The consultation will include meetings with users, carers, staff, surveys, drop-in sessions, engagement events and an online questionnaire available in an Easy Read format.

The consultation and any changes will be in a phased approach over three years in different areas.

According to Cllr Bill Bentley, the lead member for adult social care, the consultation will ensure a quality service remains in the future.

He pointed out how some of the buildings need refurbishment and numbers using the day centres are going down.

He insisted the reviews will ensure services are more personal and meet individual needs.

The aim is to move away from a traditional day service towards providing the opportunity for people to have more choice and control in their lives and support to get involved with volunteering and employment opportunities.

He said, “We are looking to increase the range of opportunities for people with learning disabilities and provide support for carers.

“The numbers using the day centres are falling and we are asking people what they think of our plans to deliver support in the future.

“I would encourage people to take part in this consultation and complete the surveys. Nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out, but we must make the right decisions for the people who use our services”.

Details about the consultation are available on the ESCC website at: The closing date for both surveys is February 7.