COUNCIL chiefs have approved a £189,000-a-year contract which will deliver specialist services for people with dementia.

The Cabinet has awarded the contract to Care Concepts Appleton for the provision of day care services at Brampton Lodge – from July 1 2019 to June 30 2022 – during its meeting on Tuesday.

It will see the block of specialist day service places reduced from 18 to 14 places, with an option of up to four further places on a ‘spot purchase’ basis, or to be sold privately by Care Concepts Appleton.

The value of the proposed contract is £189,280 per year, which presents a saving of £54,080.

Cllr Rebecca Knowles, Cabinet member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “The proposal is to reduce the number of places, not to reduce the provision, because there is a level of void there which has been happening, and will always happen, with this particular category of people because they are subject to needing to go to hospital.

“That is not to say that they don’t really, really need that service and will carry on needing that service.”

Decommissioning the service was explored as part of a review.

The council said this would achieve an immediate saving of £243,360 per year.

However, it added that it would be offset and reduced partly as some users may require admission to 24-hour care, resulting in a ‘loss of independence’ and ‘significantly greater’ weekly costs.

Tendering the service as a ‘pay as you go’ model was also ruled out by the authority.

This option was discounted to protect the continuity of service to service users and to enable the service to maintain staffing at appropriate levels.

The council says given the complexity of needs this may have a detrimental effect to a person and their family and could delay a discharge from hospital, or result in a longer stay in residential care.