Members of Durham County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to agree a reorganisation of services that would result in the closure of 12 centres by September 2016.
The proposals reflect significant changes to the way in which people choose day services, which has led to drop in demand for traditional council-run centres, as well as the need to make £1.59m savings during 2016/17.
Five centres from across the county would be retained in order to continue to offer specialist services to people with complex needs. Around 101 people would currently fall into this category.
The five centres which would be used to deliver specialist day services would be Durham Pathways, Pity Me; Spennymoor Pathways, Spennymoor Leisure Centre; Newton Aycliffe Pathways, Aycliffe Leisure Centre; Peterlee Pathways; and Stanley Pathways, Louisa Leisure Centre.
The 12 day services which would close are Ebony Woodwork Unit, Consett; Chester-le-Street Pathways; Crook Pathways; Proudfoot Centre, Bishop Auckland; Annfield Plain Pathways; Silver Street, Spennymoor; Consett Pathways; Harmire Unit, Barnard Castle; Bishop Auckland Pathways, Tindale Crescent; Bracken Hill Centre, Peterlee; Bede Day Centre, Barnard Castle; and Stanhope Pathways.
All people who use the existing 17 centres, their carers and staff at the centres have been consulted on the proposals and their feedback is included in the report to Cabinet.
If the proposals are agreed those who use the 12 centres which will close would be supported in finding alternative provision to meet their needs in the independent and/or voluntary sector.
Many people, particularly younger adults, are already choosing these types of services.
The growth in Direct Payments, which enables people to choose individual solutions to their own care needs, has also resulted in lower demand for traditional council-run centres.
Cllr Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for adult and health services at Durham County Council, said: “It is important for us to recognise that increasingly people want to take more control over their own services and choose those which best meet their individual needs.
“Many younger people in particular are already choosing services in the community and independent sector, although we appreciate that there is still a need for the council to provide specialist services for people with complex needs.
“We also understand that for some people change can be very difficult and we have spent time consulting with people and their carers so that we can understand their views and help to find the right way forward for each individual.
“We would continue to work with people and carers to help them understand their different options.
“We would look to organise taster sessions to help people make the right choice and, where necessary, would help to arrange gradual introductions to new services.”
Cabinet will discuss the proposals when they meet next week (Jan 13) at 10am at County Hall.