5 February - Elmbridge Dementia Services to relocate to the Claygate Centre for the Community.
We are committed to providing a best-in-class service for our clients, families, and carers, and the facilities housing the service are key to that. From April 2024, Elmbridge Dementia Services will be based at their new home at the Claygate Centre for the Community, Elm Road, Claygate.
During the coming weeks, we will be undertaking £50,000 in adaptations which will improve Claygate Centre services and also allow Dementia Services to run concurrently, but independently within the building. Claygate Centre for the Community provides a much-valued service for the community, and we believe that it will be a welcoming and vibrant new home for Elmbridge Dementia Services.
Providing Dementia Services in Elmbridge is a key priority for us and the facilities at the Claygate Centre will enable us to enhance the excellent dementia service support we already provide.
Cllr Gill Coates, Portfolio Holder for Community Care is committed to continuity of care: “Our Dementia Services provide incredibly valuable support for our residents living with dementia and their carers and loved ones. We are confident the move to Claygate will give us the flexibility to improve the service and meet demand as it, sadly, continues to grow. Of course a move is naturally disconcerting for some of our clients, but we are determined to offer continuity of care and a smooth transition when the time comes.”
Cllr Bruce McDonald, Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council, is delighted that Claygate can provide a warm welcome to Elmbridge Dementia Services: “Through collaboration with our clients and their carers, plus the provision of £50,000 to building enhancements, will are ensuring Dementia Services and Community Services can thrive together at the Claygate Centre.”
We will continue to provide updates to our Dementia Services clients and carers, as we work through the details of this relocation.
2 February - Responding to Dominic Raab MP
On 2 February, the Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council Cllr Bruce McDonald, responded to a letter from Dominic Raab MP and confirmed both continuity of care for our Dementia Services clients and carers but also that the service will be relocating to Claygate Centre for the Community in April.
1 February 2024 - Dementia Services at Claygate Centre for the Community from April
We have issued the below email to our Dementia Services carers.
Recently, we provided you with an update that we are looking at providing alternative suitable accommodation for Dementia Services which is at least as good as the facilities provided at Thames Ditton.
We are committed to providing a best-in-class service for our clients, families, and carers, and the facilities housing the service are key to that.
We are pleased to let you know that we aim to open our Dementia Services facility at Claygate Centre in April. During the coming weeks, we will be undertaking adaptations which will allow Claygate Centre services and Dementia Services to run concurrently, but independently within the building. We believe that the Claygate Centre for the Community will be an excellent new home for Elmbridge Dementia Services.
The facilities at the Claygate Centre will enable us to improve our services and there will be more to follow on this at a later date.
In the meantime, I can reassure you that continuity of care for Dementia Services clients and carers remains our priority, therefore moving will not take place until our new accommodation is ready.
I will continue to provide you with regular updates.
1 February 2024
We have been asked for some additional information on the topics below. We hope this provides the information required.
Strengthening the Community Services Team
To bolster the Community Services Team, we have been actively recruiting internally, as well as increasing employee hours and upskilling team members to take on additional responsibilities.
We have also been recruiting externally, for example there is a Centre Assistant post in Walton currently live (closing 16 February).
Supporting vulnerable Centre clients
Our Centre Managers know their clients and have carried out assessments on those most vulnerable to assess their needs and to ensure they have the appropriate level of support at out Centres.
In December we contacted our vulnerable Centre users for a check-in call and to invite them to either the Walton or Cobham Centre when services resumed on 11 December. For those who could not make their own way to the Centres, we worked with them to make travel arrangements.
Focusing support where it is needed most
In opening the Walton and Cobham Centres to vulnerable residents in December and then extending to all Centres members in January we considered a variety of factors including level of need (which incorporates data on income, employment, health, crime and education).
Surrey County Council data (which includes national datasets) identifies the top 20 areas within the county with the highest level of need. Three of these 20 areas are in Elmbridge. They are:
- Cobham and Downside
- Walton North
- Walton South
Ensuring safety continues to be our highest priority
Anyone who has been to our Centres knows our Centre teams are completely dedicated to our customers and it’s our role to ensure that dedication is supported with the appropriate levels of safety processes and procedures, risk assessments and that we have the correct capabilities in place to welcome back our customers and hirers.
On 7 February, Elmbridge Cabinet will consider a report recommending an independent review of the situation which led up to the temporary closing of the Centres for the Community in November 2023.
The aim of this review is to provide reassurance to our Centre users, employees, Councillors and residents, that strategic risks have been identified and control measures embedded.
This review will involve the following:
- An initial report to the first Cabinet meeting in the municipal year 2024/2025 which highlights the issues encountered;
- Internal Audit undertake an independent and robust in-depth audit which is reported to the Audit and Standards Committee upon completion; and
- The Council’s Risk Management Partners (RMP) undertake a series of health checks and multi-level assessments to critically examine the Council’s systems focusing on the Health and Safety approach of ‘Plan, Do, Check and Act’.
In recommending this independent review, we want to ensure that our services not only meet the needs of the community but that their safety continues to be our highest priority.
31 January 2024
The Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council, Cllr Bruce McDonald, has responded to a letter from Mr Dominic Raab MP on Elmbridge Dementia Services. Cllr McDonald has reiterated the importance of this service and the continuity of care which will be place for client and carers:
"Providing dementia services is a key priority for us. We aim to provide a best-in-class dementia services which is part of the life of the Centre within which it is based. This service, at a time of growing need, benefits service users, their families and the whole community. We are committed to continuity of care for Dementia Services."
You can read the letter in full.
25 January 2024
We have written to our Dementia Services clients and carers to update them on their service and to reinforce the continuity of care they will receive. The text is below:
Next week, 30 January, you will see some council communications about Vital Village and its involvement in the Thames Ditton Centre for the Community. This is based on a report being taken to Elmbridge Cabinet on 7 February.
We will of course send you this communications when it is available, but importantly we want to reassure you that the Dementia Services we offer will not be lessened by the Vital Village proposals for the Thames Ditton Centre. We will continue to provide the best care for those living with dementia, and respite for carers and family members.
We are currently considering appropriate accommodation for Dementia Services which is at least as good as the facilities provided Thames Ditton. We fully recognise the importance of ensuring that if Dementia Services does move to a new location, it will be a fit for purpose environment which continues to benefit our clients and carers. We hope to provide a further update very soon.
We are grateful for your support and if you have any queries, please contact us through email@example.com
A vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community hub in Thames Ditton
Our overarching aim is to support our residents, especially our more vulnerable residents. To enable this, we have developed the ‘Elmbridge Connects strategy’. This is a positive vision for community services which will strengthen the network of support we are able to provide through a collaboration of council, charity and public sector networks, all with the common goal to help the Elmbridge community. Our strategy will connect people and provide support across the generations. It also sets out that we will engage with the community to enable the delivery of the community services they need.
On 7 February, Elmbridge Cabinet will be presented with one such collaboration, as it considers a proposal on whether to lease the Thames Ditton Community Centre to Vital Village, a community interest company founded by a local resident.
At the heart of the community
As a Community Interest Company the goal of Vital Village is to create a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community hub that serves as the heart of the local community. It wants to adopt a holistic approach to community health and wellbeing, encompassing not only physical but mental health and understanding that personal wellbeing goes hand in hand with a healthy and sustainable planet.
To achieve its vision, Vital Village will coordinate a varied programme of activities and events that will be primarily based on community needs (to be established through community engagement), and generally focused on heath, wellbeing, environmental sustainability. The programme might include initiatives such as fitness and exercise programmes, recycling programmes and community gatherings.
To explore the potential for what could be achieved in Thames Ditton we engaged with the Health Creation Alliance, the leading national cross-sector movement addressing health inequalities. The team at Health Creation Alliance facilitated a series of workshops with representatives from the voluntary and community sector, local partners, community organisations and residents.
During the course of this work, we were approached by a local resident wanting to set up a community interest company to take over the management of the Thames Ditton centre and run a community wellbeing and sustainability hub.
To gauge community sentiment, a third workshop was convened in early December 2023 to explore the value and benefit of this offer. It reflected on the aspirations to move from a good to a great community centre and provided a forum to explore community questions and concerns.
Overall, the premise of the Community Interest Company - Vital Village - was supported and recognised as having the potential to increase both the number of activities on offer to the community and usage of the building.
Of course, there were questions, would existing hirers be able to remain? How would Vital Village be supported to succeed? What about Dementia Services based at them Thames Ditton Centre?
Hirers were reassured of their value and that there would always be a place for them at the Thames Ditton Centre.
Petition against changes to the Thames Ditton Centre
There is a strong feeling among some in the Thames Ditton community that we should continue the management and running of the Thames Ditton Centre, in order to secure future services for the wellbeing of the community.
As a council our focus is on how we can best work together to secure the outcomes implicit in our Elmbridge Connects project. We have a central role to play as a convenor, connector and enabler. The council will continue to own the building and have oversight of how the community is served.
We believe this collaboration with Vital Village will be better for residents. The council will retain ownership of the building and will work in partnership with Vital Village. The collaboration will increase the number of activities and variety of support available to residents. This will secure the future of the Thames Ditton Centre. If approved by Cabinet, we will invest up to £130,000 to support the success of this new community hub established by Vital Village at the Thames Ditton Centre, which will in turn benefit so many in the local community.
Supporting Vital Village to succeed
In addition to the financial support, Vital Village will be monitored by a board of directors who will be appointed on their ability to provide guidance, expertise, strategic advice and oversight to Vital Village’s management. The Board will include at least one local ward Councillor.
Establishing measurable performance indicators will also be important in supporting success, such as a community engagement index, programmes’ participation rates, facility usage, user satisfaction scores plus financial sustainability. We will use these to ensure Vital Village delivers the increased services.
Continuity of care for Dementia Services based at the Thames Ditton Centre
Providing dementia services is a key priority for us. We aim to provide best in class dementia services; therefore, our clients, carers and family members can be re-assured that the Vital Village offering will not adversely impact this important service, we will ensure continuity of care at all times.
We are currently considering appropriate accommodation for Dementia Services which is at least as good as the facilities provided at Thames Ditton. We fully recognise the importance of ensuring that if Dementia Services does move to a new location, it will be a fit for purpose environment which continues to benefit our clients and carers.
A positive vision for community services
We want to reiterate that we have a positive vision – expressed in our Elmbridge Connects strategy - which will strengthen the support provided to the community. Working with our partners and the community, we are ensuring we have the most appropriate support in place to meet the needs of the community now and the future.
Cllr Gill Coates,
Portfolio Holder for Community Care