Plans to relocate residential short break services for disabled adults from south Bucks to Aylesbury have been announced by the county council.

For the past six months Bucks County Council (BCC) has been holding consultations into the way adult and children’s short breaks services are delivered after it was found carers are reaching “crisis point” before they receive help.

A 10-week consultation on the draft adult short breaks policy will run until January 14, and now BCC wants to discuss new plans for the way residential breaks are delivered.

Short breaks allow children and adults with disabilities to spend time away from home and develop independence either for the day or overnight, which in turn allows their primary carers to have a break from caring responsibilities.

BCC has previously admitted it is difficult to manage demand for overnight short stays in the face of limited funds.

BCC’s cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss holding a consultation into transferring short break services from Seeleys House in Beaconsfield to a new build at the Aylesbury Opportunities Centre.

A council report states the move to Aylesbury will provide fairer access to services for people across the county as well as  better transport links.

People who currently use the short break services at the opportunities centre will have to be moved to another service for a year while the site undergoes a partial rebuild.

The day services provided at the Aylesbury site will then have to be reduced in order to make way for the transfer of the new residential service, according to BCC’s report.

The report adds proposals to move Seeleys House “are not new”, as the service was originally set to be moved to Orchard House in High Wycombe – however the plans were halted.

BCC says the residential short breaks service is “in need of modernisation” after the service provided at Seeleys House was rated “inadequate” and “needs improvement” in 2017 and 2018.

BCC’s report states: “There is also lack of appropriate and flexible capacity which is leading to expensive out of area spot placements and a lack of provision for service users with complex health needs; both health and social care funded.

“The concept of moving from Seeleys House is not new; extensive consultation, design and planning work having been undertaken on the previous proposed move to Orchard House in High Wycombe which was subsequently halted.

“We intend to use, where possible, much of the information gathered as part of that process in order to inform the new Aylesbury development.”

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