A year ago we were expecting Seeleys to close at the end of this year and that we would be asking you to approve some amendments to our constitution so that we could continue supporting Seeleys’ clients in a new setting in Cressex. A few weeks after the AGM FOSH and SBAD (South Bucks Association for the Disabled) were summoned to a meeting with BCC and were told that the plans for a new Respite and Day Centre had been cancelled. We made it clear that there are about 50 profoundly disabled clients that use Seeleys and Hillcrest who will need a building based service. The issue of the Respite clients who have had their service withdrawn because they are CHC funded was also raised. We were appalled to discover recently that there are some clients who still do not have any Respite provision!!!!  At the meeting SBAD said that it wished to refurbish Room 2 and even though BCC was not keen SBAD went ahead. This has been a big improvement and we are grateful to SBAD for this.


BCC are developing a Strategy and Policy for the Short Breaks Service. In June they plan to start a 6 week consultation on this strategy. Development of the Short Breaks strategy is taking priority over any Day Service strategy. The “Fulfilling Lives” team will be looking at all the Day services centre by centre with Seeleys being addressed in late 2018/early 2019. At the same time clients’ needs will be discussed at their annual reviews. Therefore it looks as if Seeleys will continue to provide a service (both Day and Respite) for at least a couple more years. (See post under "The future for Seeleys House clients")


FOSH has a healthy bank balance so didn’t hold any fundraising events this year. It had hoped to hold a social event during the year but unfortunately were unable to do so. During the year FOSH has paid for a set of scales so that clients in wheelchairs can be weighed when they are being hoisted; a boat trip (with a second trip being paid for by our friends at Jordan’s Rotary Club; visits by Frantic Theatre and Friendly Bombs; and weekly sensory sessions with Trina Richards. These sessions are much appreciated by the clients really enjoy the experience.


This coming year FOSH is continuing to pay for Trina Richard’s sensory sessions; paying the transport costs for outings (life was so much easier 10/15 years ago when Seeleys had its own buses and the drivers and escorts were on the Seeleys staff); have already paid for Leah, the jazz singer to come in and entertain the clients; are paying for a “Street Party” to celebrate the Royal Wedding; will be buying shades to go over the wheelchair replace the ones we bought 10 years ago and (jointly with SBAD) furniture and equipment for Room 2.

07:37, 11 May 2018 by Tim Addison

This report (Alternative Service Models - Lessons Learned) to the BCC Cabinet is a 26 page document covering a number of initiatives. The failure of Bucks Care is covered on page 4 and in Appendix 3 (page 15). The key lessons they have identified relating to Bucks Care will not come as a surprise:

30. In the case of Bucks Care, there was evidence of a loss of sight of users and their families and they were not engaged sufficiently in care. Users have to be placed at the centre of the Council’s systems and processes to ensure that they are supported to achieve good quality lives. In the case of Seeley’s House, we are now working much more closely with service users and carers to keep them informed and engaged and to understand the service as they experience it.

32. Governance arrangements had been established for each of the new service models, involving both senior officers and Members, with the aim of holding the delivery vehicle to account for performance. However, the review has identified some concerns about the frequency of meetings as well as the scope and focus of the discussions. For example, in the case of Bucks Care, the meetings of the Shareholders Commissioning Group (the Council’s internal group overseeing the relationship with Bucks Care) focused primarily on financial performance. However, it should also have had a clearer remit in relation to quality of care and been supported to take a more robust and thorough approach triangulating contract monitoring information with service user and carer feedback and information from care managers as well as financial information.

35. Contract management in relation to the new service models has not always been as robust as would be expected with commercial suppliers and the Council’s approach has sometimes been too light touch. This was a particular issue with Bucks Care. In this case, contract monitoring should have coordinated intelligence from different sources – including users, carers, care managers, complaints etc - and triangulated this with performance data to ensure an accurate picture was developed about performance. Although numerical performance and financial data was considered, insufficient attention was given to other information which could have indicated emerging concerns in relation to Bucks Care prior to the CQC inspection in Autumn 2016.

14:11, 26 Jul 2017 by Tim Addison

An information meeting was held on Monday 17 July at Adams Park attended by about 30 parents and carers associated with Seeleys, Hillcrest and Spring Valley following a meeting between BCC and FOSH and SBAD.

Jane Bowie, Director of Joint Commissioning, Health and Adult Social Care, told us that the proposed move to a new building at the Orchard House site had been cancelled. In fact there will be no new Day Centres built. It appears that some of the existing Day Centres are running at between 32% and 77% capacity and that the plans proposed in the "Having a Good Day" consultation in 2010 were no longer valid.

They say they are not talking about withdrawing services but do want to work with carers and service users to look at alternatives (remember Orchard House would have catered for a wider range of people than Seeleys, including older people and people on the autistic spectrum as well as PMLD). It was pointed out that there are some people (perhaps 50 at Seeleys and Hillcrest) for whom a building based service was appropriate and needed.

As far as Respite is concerned it is clear that they must offer a service that is acceptable for both Social Care funded and Health funded clients and that only one centre in the south of the county is not ideal.

So now we know what is not happening. For the next step the starting point will be a couple of workshops on the 2nd and 8th August.

22:59, 24 Jul 2017 by Tim Addison

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