Somerset

Disability care provision in Somerset to be examined

Plans which could have seen learning disability services in Somerset outsourced are to be "thoroughly reviewed" by the county council.

Councillors were voting on whether they would back a scheme for an outside company or trust to run the service.

Cabinet members voted to examine three options: to keep it in-house, run it as a not-for-profit organisation or to get an external company to run it.

A final decision is expected later this year.

Some 900 people in the county use the department's services.

Councillor Christine Lawrence said the council was "really proud" of the services.

"We have to look at the long term rather than the here and now," she said. "We are all living longer and this includes people with learning disabilities.

"We need to make sure we have the right provision in the right place with all the equipment and environment someone with a learning disability might need in their older age.

"We shall look at the options for the future.. and make sure we have all the facts and figures before we make a decision."

The trade union Unison has said outsourcing services to private companies would compromise the quality of care to service users in Somerset.

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