Argyll and Bute Council has taken a further step in its bid to improve services for adults with learning disabilities.
At a meeting today it was agreed to carry out a tender process to enable the council to make informed decisions about whether or not to outsource services to multiple providers.
This exercise will cover both community-based and buildings-based day services.
The decision comes after lengthy, wide-ranging consultation with service users, carers, staff, service providers, interested groups and the wider public.
Social affairs spokesperson Councillor Andrew Nisbet said: “The key driver behind this review has always been to deliver improved, flexible and personalised services to adults with a learning disability across Argyll and Bute.
“This is not being driven by a need to save money, but rather by wanting to change the way in which the service is delivered. We are looking at moving towards a more community-based service, with building-based services as required, which is what our clients and their carers have been telling us they want.”
Councillor Nisbet stressed that whatever the results of the tender exercise, there would be no ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning disability services.
“The presumption is that the services in the different areas of Argyll and Bute will be tailored to suit the particular needs in those areas,” he added.
“The comments gathered from a wide range of individuals and interest groups during the consultation process will of course inform the specification of the tenders eventually issued.
“We will now embark on a communications exercise with clients and staff regarding the development of these tenders to ensure that people are kept up to date with progress.”
Councillor Nisbet made it very clear that today’s decision did not mean that the services would definitely be outsourced.
“There will be further steps in this decision making process, because we are determined that what we finally agree will provide the best possible outcome for adults with a learning disability and their carers across Argyll and Bute,” he said.
The tender documents drawn up will be submitted to a future meeting of the Special Committee prior to being issued