8.1 Direction and Possible Business Opportunities.
- We will be re-tendering the Advocacy and Healthwatch contracts in 2016, for the new contracts to be in place in April 2017.
- Greater emphasis on people of working age being supported to work and contribute to their community, opportunities to work with disabled people to create employment opportunities and enterprises.
- There remains a continuing interest in ensuring that community groups and venues are accessible to all people and that groups make themselves welcoming and supportive.
- The increase in Personal Budgets and a greater emphasis on supporting people to take control of their own lives means that increasingly individuals will be making their own arrangements and will be looking for flexible, value for money activities.
- Where the Council is purchasing services on behalf of individuals we shall do so either via the community support framework agreement or via a new building based day services framework agreement.
- Older and disabled people have often been incorrectly seen a burden who are passive recipients of services, in South Gloucestershire we are working together to develop a culture which sees people as assets with their own set of skills and interests which can be used to benefit others, particularly where this presents opportunities to work across different age groups. We will be working with partners to explore how this approach can have a beneficial impact.
- South Gloucestershire is keen to continue supporting peer led groups and activities, where people are working together to support each other.
- The most effective and popular activities that can be developed are those that promote the maintenance of an active mind and active body, make the use of natural resources and those that create an opportunity for people to build and maintain social networks focusing on a shared interest e.g. Knit and natter, mensheds, friendship clubs and (gentle) exercise groups. There remains scope for the establishment of other initiatives responding to community interest.
- Over time the number of people with dementia is increasing substantially and diagnosis rates are improving rapidly (Across South Gloucestershire GP practices and the Memory Service have diagnosed 55.3% of those currently expected to have dementia. This compares well with the national average of 48-49%).We therefore need to continue to increase the range and type of community support options available to people to help them live well with dementia within their local communities and remain independent for longer.