New Options

New Options

The aim of New Options is a new proposal for changes to the way in which we provide services for disabled adults, specifically those with a learning disability.

These changes are proposed within a context of needing to deliver more personalised services. Every person eligible for support will be allocated a personal budget equating to their level of need. They will then take responsibility (with support where necessary) to decide how they want to spend their budget to meet their needs. This may not be in the services we currently provide.

All of these changes will take place at a time when the amount of money available to support each person is reducing, as Government reduces the amount of money available to the Council.

The way we work will change too. Not changing is not an option.

People will be expected to find ways of meeting some needs themselves with support from their family and the community. This may need new initiatives to help communities help themselves. We will need to look at how we maximise people's independence, by helping them to manage with less support in the long-term.

In preparation for these changes, following significant engagement with people using our services and their families and staff, we have put together the proposal for change.

Telford & Wrekin Council has been reviewing care and support services to consider how they can be delivered in the future.

Your views are important to us and we want to make sure as many people as possible are involved and tell us what they think about our proposal. We will be finalising the new model by January 2014 and starting to change the services from April 2014.

As part of our plan for the future we have been looking at the services we directly provide which are:

  • Residential homes at Carwood and Downing House
  • Day opportunity services
  • Inclusive Education at Unit 11 Horsehay
  • Inclusive Training at TEN Horsehay
  • Inclusive Leisure at Halesfield 22 and the Severns
  • Special Support at Lakeside, Stirchley
  • Community Support
  • Shared Lives and Supported Lodgings

These are known as the Council's In House services and are delivered mainly to adults with learning disabilities, though the Shared Lives and Supported Lodgings schemes are offered to those with mental health needs, older people, those with physical disabilities and young people leaving care.

This review is part of a larger Transformation plan which will make changes to the Councils' Adult Care and Support services, at a time when the council faces significant financial pressure. The council wants to offer services which are more personalised and will be introducing personal budgets for all people who are receiving services from us.

This will give people greater choice, control and responsibility for the support and services they receive.

People will be able to choose where they purchase services to meet their assessed needs. This means they do not have to have to purchase their support from a council service.

We need to make sure that we deliver services that:

  • Offer people choice and control
  • Enable people to lead full and active lives
  • Contribute to the savings the Council has to make
  • Are services people want to buy with their personal budgets
  • Offer good quality and are value for money
  • Not only meet today's priorities but will be effective and flexible for the future

We are proposing a range of flexible services which will be delivered in a very different way.

Our In house services will be called New Options and will be made up of:

These core services will be available to people who have an assessed need for care and support services.

We will then offer an additional service

This will be a service that people will pay for as they use it.

The background to our proposal

We have spent a lot of time fact finding - we spoke to people using services, family carers and staff to understand what services are needed in the future.

Download the summary of the fact finding information.

We looked at many things, for example:

  • What people think are good, and not so good about our current services
  • How many people need a service now and in the future
  • Where people using services live and how do they get there
  • How much money we will have to spend on providing services
  • What people think services should look like in the future
  • What other services are there in Telford and Wrekin that are not provided by the Council
  • What other councils are doing

We found that:

  • With the right planning In house Council services can be good value and excellent quality
  • Some people enjoyed their current service, but others thought they do not meet everybody's needs
  • Some people had not had a recent review of their need for services
  • Services need to focus more on helping people to be as independent as possible, especially for young people moving into adulthood

Why do we think that this is the best way to provide services?

We know we have to make plans to provide services to more people in the future and that the cuts from national government means the Council has less money to do this. We know that the Councils in house services cannot stay the same, we have to change.

We propose these service options because they:

  • Reflect what people said in our fact finding session
  • Focus on the needs of a person, supporting them to be more independent, make more choices and be safe and well living in their local communities
  • Offer short, medium and long term solutions
  • Offers flexibility for services to change with needs
  • Ensure services are what we need for the future
  • Are what people would want to buy with their personal budgets
  • Offer us an opportunity to make savings
  • Offers opportunity to be 'commercial' and generate additional income

What would these changes mean?

We have thought about what changes these proposals would bring and what these changes might mean for service users, family carers and staff.

If we go ahead with the plans we know that:

  • Our short, medium and long term plans will give us a range of modern services which will offer people choice and control of their own lives
  • People with a personal budget will want to buy our services, which means we can continue offering services to people in the future
  • Some people's services may change or be delivered in a different way
  • We will have one residential service which will be flexible and high quality
  • We will look to grow our Shared Lives and Supported lodgings services
  • We recognise that we may have to remodel and reduce our workforce
  • We will look to reduce our use of existing buildings
  • We need to improve our joint work with health services
  • We need to support other areas of the Council and the community to make their services are accessible and of interest to disabled people
  • We will need to consider the future of residential services at Carwood and the possibility of it becoming a supported living service
  • We would no longer be delivering low level community support ourselves eg help with shopping etc; this will be delivered by another agency
  • We will be able to make savings and generate income
  • We need to do more work about the business options for our service in the future
  • Ensure we get the views of service users, family carers, staff and other agencies about our proposal
  • Make sure service users and family carers understand about personal budgets, direct payments and choice. The Transformation Team and Advocacy services will help with this
  • Make sure people have a review so we can understand what services they need. This will be done by a Transformation Team
  • Think about how we make sure our services are what people would want to buy with their personal budgets
  • Think about what staff will be needed to deliver the new services and what skills and knowledge they will need to have
  • Think about the buildings we currently have and what buildings we can use for the new services
  • Think about the client journey through services, what would we need to put into place for this journey to be seamless
  • Work with health services to discuss areas of services which are joint social care and health related, how are these funded, who supports them?
  • Plan the transfer of low level community services to a care agency who can deliver this service in a way which will meet peoples needs, this could save us money
  • Work with housing services to explore changing Carwood from a residential home to supported housing, giving people more choice and control
  • Consider whether, in the future, all or parts of our New Options services become a social enterprise or a local authority trading company
  • Plan the changes in steps, making sure service users, family carers and staff are informed and involved at all stages

Finally, we know from our fact finding that service users, family carers and staff might find these changes difficult. We want to find out what needs to happen to make any changes as smooth as possible. We will be asking you about this in our consultation.


    Vince is 25, he goes to day services 5 days a week, though he likes seeing his friends he sometimes gets bored, he thinks that day services are for older people.

He used to go to college but finished the course there last year.

    He wants to get a job and live independently, but mum and dad are worried about it being too much for him.

Vince loves going out especially to the cinema. He gets on well with people and is very trusting, mum and dad are very anxious about him going out at night without them.

    Vince has a personal budget but is not sure of what services are available to help him.

Vince would be able to use his personal budget to get support from the new Enablement Hub; the service would support Vince to:

  • Develop an enablement plan to independent living, which would identify areas to develop skills and confidence
  • Vince could put this into practice in one of our supported short term accommodation options before moving into his own accommodation in the community, where again he could receive outreach support if needed
  • Vince's family would be able to see how well he is progressing and would feel more confident about his move to independent living

Vince has said he would like to get a job:

  • He could get involved with the Enterprise hub where he would be able to get information about Employment Options
  • He could access the Enterprise hub skills programme which would support him to move towards appropriate employment

Vince could also access the Step Out service, who co-ordinate events such as trips to the cinema. Vince would need to pay for this separately to his personal budget.


Jennifer is 42 with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and lives with her parents who are in their 70s. Jennifer uses a wheelchair and has severe epilepsy

Jennifer struggles to vocalise and gets frustrated when she cannot make herself understood; she also has a number of health problems

Jennifer's parents struggle to support Jennifer's health and personal care needs, they have some respite care, but it is not enough. They take Jennifer out when they can, they would like to do this more but find it very difficult. Jennifer would be able to use her personal budget to get support from the Complex care service


Jennifer would receive personalised and flexible support from an experienced and well trained staff team who would support her to engage in stimulating, creative and meaningful activities.

  • The service would work jointly with health services to support Jennifer with her health needs...
  • Jennifer's access to the service would also give her parents valuable respite.The service could also support Jennifer to make plans for the future.
  • Jennifer could use the Enablement Hub to explore opportunities to live in her own home. With support and short term accommodation Jennifer could experience how assistive technology could help her and identify what levels of support Jennifer would need.