A new consultation has been launched on major changes to the short breaks services are offered to children and adults with disabilities.

For months cash-strapped Bucks County Council (BCC) has been working on plans to overhaul the service in a desperate bid to make savings and provide better support for carers.

In June BCC launched a review of how short breaks are offered, after some carers revealed they reached “crisis point” before they received help.

The council has also admitted it is difficult to manage demand for overnight stays in the face of limited funds, as the budget is expected to be cut by £500,000.

BCC has now urged people affected by the changes to share their views on how the service should be delivered, with the consultation set to run until January 14.

In a joint statement cabinet member for children’s services, Warren Whyte, and cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Lin Hazell, said: “We want to make sure that people can access a wide range of short-break options close to where they live.

“Although short breaks are a vital part of supporting carers they do not have to be in a residential setting.

“Our current short breaks offer does not provide enough flexibility and choice.

"We want to make sure that the money we have for short breaks is spent where it is most needed.

“Carers provide most of the care in our communities and without them public services would struggle to cope.

“However we do have to consider budgets. We believe that by modernising short break services we can meet need and make the best use of the resources we have."

The summer consultation identified the aims of the strategy, while the next round of talks will identify exactly how the service should be delivered.

BCC is seeking views to help define what a short break service is, make access to the service fair, decide to is eligible for short breaks, make sure people get the right type of short break to meet their needs and how it will fund some types of short breaks.

Take part on the ‘have your say section of the BCC website: www.buckscc.gov.uk