Lancashire TelegraphChild respite care shake-up in Lancashire (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Child respite care shake-up in Lancashire

PLANS to overhaul respite care across Lancashire will create a ‘sustainable’ service, insist county council chiefs.

Public consultations are now under way over major changes to the respite care work, as the authority looks at ways to save £3million.

Three respite units at Hargreaves House in Oswaldtwistle, Burnley’s Reedley Cottages and Long Copse at Chorley will be among seven due to be axed as part of the reforms.

And they will be replaced by three or four purpose-built units, with one pencilled in for either the Accrington or Nelson areas.

The respite programme known as ‘Lancashire Break Time’, said to be a more cost-effective approach, accounting for 72 per cent of cases, will be promoted.

And children with disabilities will be offered overnight stays in family environments.

Extra assistance will also be offered with personalised budgets, in line with a number of social services payment processes.

County councillor Susie Charles, children and schools cabinet member, said: “We have worked with parents and carers throughout the process and our plan is to continue to involve them in decision-making about these crucial services.

“We would very much like to hear the views of everyone involved as we need to make sure we create a sustainable short break service that will meet the needs of children and families in Lancashire in the future.”

Campaigners in East Lancashire have previously voiced concern about the loss of much-loved venues where their children feel comfortable, particularly Hargreaves House.

The consultation can be accessed online at lancashire.gov.uk

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