‘It is the future of their lives’ - People with learning disabilities urged to have say on future of Norfolk services
- Credit: Archant
People with learning disabilities in Norfolk are being urged to help shape the future of the services they receive.
With Norfolk County Council needing to save £100m over the next four years, council bosses are looking to spend £31m less on adult social care.
The council hopes helping independent living will benefit people and save money, although there is concern about what that could mean for the future of day services.
However, the council says it wants to work with people with learning disabilities to establish the way forward - and has asked them to help come up with a Norfolk Learning Disability Strategy.
A co-production group forging the strategy includes people with learning disabilities. They have helped create a survey for the 3,500 plus people in Norfolk with learning disabilities to fill in.
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It asks questions about what is working well, what is not, the sorts of services people use, what they think of them and more.
Janet Brandish, who is co-chairing the group, has learning disabilities. She is supported by Norwich charity Opening Doors and has become an advocate for how crucial co-production is.
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She said: 'It is the future of their lives and people should have their say on the future of their lives. I would say 'please try to fill in the form'.
'Being co-produced means that we can have a say and it's coming from the users. We are the experts on services and I'm hoping lots of people will fill the surveys in.'
Bill Borrett, chairman of Norfolk County Council's adult social care committee, said: 'This all about listening to the people who use this service.
'If we can empower individuals to live independently by giving them the necessary skills and confidence then this is obviously better all round.
'Having service users inform and shape the new strategy will give us a clear indication on what has worked well in the past and what needs to change.
'We would like to hear from as many people as possible with learning difficulties, regardless of whether they receive formal support or not, to complete the questionnaire. This is a very important opportunity to really make a difference.'
People can have their say by visiting www.ldnorfolk.co.uk