ePetition details

Reopen decision to close popular respite units - work with service users & families to develop alternative proposals

We the undersigned petition the County Council to instruct Adult Care Services to hold off on any proposals to close existing services and take the time to work with families and people with learning disabilities to understand the reasons for the current under-usage and the options they would like to see developed in the future. We believe that this approach will ensure best value and will also enable a true co-design and co-production of personalised and flexible options for overnight respite care.

We, the undersigned note that the initial consultation on closing the three overnight short breaks services for adults with a learning disability located in St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Hoddesdon closed on 7 November 2019. An additional consultation, which proposes closing the respite service in Bishops Stortford instead of the Hoddesdon service, was subsequently published and is due to conclude on 21 January 2019.

This additional consultation states that the changes being proposed are about saving money by stopping paying for services that are not being used, but the wider ambition is to develop new, more personalised and flexible options for respite in general over the next three years.

We consider that both consultations are based on some questionable assumptions and methodology:
• That the current under-usage is evidence that the present services are no longer required and reflect true demand.
• That parents of younger adults prefer to accept a direct payment to organise and purchase other forms of respite.
• That closing popular respite facilities before the new strategy is fully developed and consulted upon is an appropriate methodology
• That distance and cost saving are the only measures used in the current analysis and recommendations.

There is now an additional consultation that proposes closing the respite service in Bishops Stortford instead of the Hoddesdon one and the document states that Closing Apton Road would save the same amount of money as closing Isabel Court. This second consultation does not address the major flaws identified in the work so far.

Started by: Jackie Wilks

This ePetition ran from 09/12/2019 to 06/02/2020 and has now finished.

1523 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

This petition was presented to the meeting of the Adult Care & Health Cabinet Panel on 7 February 2020, where this matter was an item on the agenda.


Further to Cabinet decision on 24 February 2020


The matter was also discussed at Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 11 March 2020