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Hi all, with the situation across Greater Manchester and particularly Oldham not changing this week in relation to COVID, I have decided to keep the building closed for another week. The social meet-ups in the parks will continue next week and key workers will be contacting you regarding days and times.

I’m aware that the longer that the situation continues, the more stress and worries it puts on our service users and families. As the weeks have gone on I am being asked more and more whether budgets for Horizons can be used to pay for PAs and also if the service is going to survive once this is over. The guidance that we have been given via a question and answer sheet (available here) that was shared on the blog a few weeks ago from Oldham Cares, a group made up of Oldham Council, NHS Oldham CCG and other health and social care providers, is as follows:

QuestionShould I still pay for care / activities I am not attending, and that are not available?

Answer. Yes, you should continue to pay for services which you are receiving. If you are unable to access services, there has been agreement locally that we will continue to support local providers through this difficult time by continuing to pay their commissioned rates. If your direct payment is managed by a broker, they will contact the council to ensure there are sufficient funds in your account. If you manage the account yourself, you should contact us directly so that we can review what steps might need to be taken.

This is to make sure that services can continue during and after the pandemic. However, I appreciate that with us only offering a reduced service this does not release the stress where more support is needed. If more support is needed, I would suggest that you contact your social worker (or the duty team if you don’t have one). I have also asked the following question to Oldham Cares this week and will pass on to you the response when I receive it:

Question. More and more families and social workers are questioning if budgets can be spent on PA’s rather than day services when they are shut. I believe that this is now happening and some families do not have enough in their budget to pay for day services.  I understand  that the pressure on families is growing daily and could put some, if not already, into crisis. However, without funding day services will start to close causing more problems down the line. There also seem to be different approaches from different councils and health authorities. Can you clarify the position?

These are unprecedented times and we are coming across new and difficult situations on an almost daily basis.  I can assure you we are working hard behind the scenes to try and get back to something like normal as soon as we can. I will keep you updated next week.

I will leave you with some pictures from our social meet-ups..

..and one of Emma’s virtual cooking sessions that she sends out to her group every week..

Enjoy the warm weekend.





1 Medtia Square, Phoenix Street, Oldham, OL1 1AN

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M-F: 8am – 4pm

Weekends: Closed

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