Dorset

Dorset day care services to be reviewed

Day care centres in Dorset could be closed under one of the proposals being considered by councillors.

Dorset County Council needs to save £600,000 from its day care budget by 2014. Its current day care budget for elderly and disabled people is £6.65m.

The authority is to consider three options - the first which could involve closing units or reducing hours.

The second is for the council to set up a business to offer care and the third is to allow a company to run services.

Under the second and third options, people who do not qualify for care would have the opportunity to continue using the services if they pay for themselves.

Specialist services

Debbie Ward, director for adult and community services, said: "We are doing our best to protect front line services.

"There is no preferred option at this stage and however services are delivered in the future, the county council will retain its duty to support vulnerable people and to ensure that specialist services needed by vulnerable adults are still available."

The council's community overview committee will consider a report outlining the three options on Monday before going before the cabinet on 6 July.

A three-month consultation will be held before a final decision is made at the end of the year.

Any changes will be phased in over the next two to five years, the council said.

Dorset operates 24 day care centres with a total of 922 places per day for older people and those with mental or physical disabilities.

The Conservative-run council has said it needs to save a total of £54.9m over the next three years.

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