Review into West Sussex service for adults with learning disabilities

WEST Sussex County Council has said customers from two new services for adults with learning disabilities say these have improved the quality of their lives.

An independent review of the services, commissioned by the county council, found they are meeting people’s needs effectively with customers positive about the My Network and My Network Plus services.

The review was conducted by a group of self advocates – people with learning disabilities who speak up for themselves – and their supporters over the summer.

Their findings are contained in a report, which was recently discussed by the Health and Adults’ Services Select Committee.

They found that My Network customers “valued having somewhere to go and not having to stay at home all day,” enjoyed the activities on offer and value the drop-in nature of the service.

Among activities, customers have been learning about money management techniques, how to eat healthily, how to use the phone, how to contact other services such as police and the NHS, and training to travel independently.

There have also been sports and leisure activities such as swimming and talks on job opportunities.

My Network Plus helps adults with learning difficulties not eligible for funded social care to continue to live independently in their own homes.

The group found that most customers prefer to access these services on a flexible basis. Previously staff sometimes turned up despite support not being needed.

The two services, which have been operational since September last year, are provided through six My Network services and six My Network Plus services throughout the county. The report covers the first nine months of each my Network from October 2011 to June 2012.