In May 2015, Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust informed
the Surrey County Council, the CCGs and family voice Surrey that it proposed to
discontinue short breaks services at Beeches from November 2015. In light of
this outcome, Cabinet agreed on 29 July 2015 to consult further before
determining if Surrey County Council should fund services at Beeches, or fund
alternative services, which may result in Beeches being closed.
The feedback from current users is centred on the impact the removal of the service will have on their children and the wellbeing of their families. The families that do not currently use Beeches say that there is unknown need within the community and Surrey County Council is failing to reach out to families. They comment that Beeches is not offered as an overnight short break option to families and that it does not feature in Surrey County Council’s directory of short breaks. Overall, the feedback is that short breaks are a lifeline to families (described in the joint strategic review) and without them they would not be able to cope with their children’s needs.
At Cabinet on 27 October 2015, the following recommendations were approved.
1. Surrey County Council contracts with Surrey and Borders Partnership (SABP) for overnight short break at Beeches for up to 12 months commencing on 1 December 2015 as an interim arrangement.
2. The interim arrangement is reviewed by Cabinet as part of a revised special educational needs and disability (SEND) strategy be brought back to Cabinet that includes recommendations from the SEND Governance Board regarding future provision for short breaks.
3. A report is presented to Cabinet within the 12 month interim period based on an assessment of the needs for children with disabilities in the east of the county, and an assessment of capacity available in order to meet demand, in relation to short break provision.