Committee to pre-scrutinise proposed changes to day service offer

Written by on 21st November 2023

The Community Services Scrutiny Committee will look at proposals relating to the current day service offer for older people in Trecynon and Tonyrefail – before Cabinet Members formally consider the matter next month. 

On Tuesday, November 21, the Committee will discuss the proposals that have been brought forward with the aim of creating a more efficient service, providing more older people with access to modern facilities, and ensuring better use of Council resources. The changes would not reduce the care provided to people with assessed needs – but would promote well-being and independence, while staff would also be relocated to ensure continuity of care.

Adult Services operate three day centres for older people, providing a midday meal, social activities, and transport to and from each centre. These include a standalone provision at Tonyrefail Day Centre, and Trecynon and Cwmni Dda Day Centres which both operate from the Tegfan Care Home site in Aberdare.

The Council is also committed to modernising accommodation options for older people through significant investment in extra care housing, and these facilities provide additional opportunities to integrate day services – with users benefitting from a better social environment and much-improved facilities. As part of these extra care developments, there is a new day centre provision at Cwrt yr Orsaf Extra Care in Pontypridd, which has yet to open.

The three current open day centres have remained popular among service users, but attendance has declined recently. In 2016, there were 215 older people registered with an average daily attendance of 56 people. Currently, there are just 119 people registered with an average daily attendance of 32 people.

Taking many factors into consideration, officers have put forward two options to amend the current day service provision. The proposals include that:

  • Trecynon Day Centre and Cwmni Dda Day Centre are combined by March 2024, and the future provision is provided from Cwmni Dda.
  • The day service provision at Tonyrefail Day Centre is transferred on a phased basis to Cwrt yr Orsaf Extra Care in Pontypridd by March 2024.

Members of the Community Services Scrutiny Committee will discuss these proposals in full on Tuesday, before making recommendations to Cabinet.

Councillor Gareth Caple, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“I welcome that the Committee is taking an opportunity to scrutinise the proposals brought forward by officers, which will further inform Cabinet Member discussions when they look at the options in December 2023. It’s important to note that the proposals do not represent a loss of service and would not change the level of care provided to users.

“We know that our day centres have, over a prolonged period, experienced a decline in user numbers – with people choosing other models of care over these traditional settings. A 43% reduction in average daily users since 2016 is significant, and officers have concluded that the service needs to be redesigned to better meet people’s needs and become more cost-effective.

“The first proposal would combine Trecynon and Cwmni Dda Day Centres, which are run from separate dedicated spaces on the same site. Cwmni Dda is favoured for the proposed new provision, as it has a large unused room that could be utilised, while service users also have access to sensory gardens, horticultural opportunities, more accessible spaces, and outdoor spaces.

“The second proposal would take advantage of the Council’s investment in extra care – which provides advantages for integrated day services in comparison to isolated day centres. The provision in Pontypridd has not yet opened, but will offer facilities such as a restaurant, cinema and hairdressers, and a better social environment through joint activities with the residents.

“It is important to note that transport to and from each of the centres would continue under the proposals, for all registered service users. Transport journeys would be reviewed to ensure travel times are kept to a minimum.

“Any changes, if agreed, would be carefully managed in respect of the service users that are impacted. Officers would contact all people registered, and their families, to discuss the proposal and provide additional support. Appropriate consultation would also be undertaken with the staff members affected.

“I’m looking forward to the discussion of these proposals by the Community Service Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, which will result in recommendations being put forward to Cabinet Members to inform their decision next month.”

The proposals, if agreed, would generate an annual saving of £140,000 – and this would be ring-fenced and reinvested back into the Adult Services budget enabling the Council to maintain these essential care and support services.

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