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I am Chris Sterry a family carer and one of the Carer reps on both Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB) and Learning Disability Service Improvement Forum (LDSIF).
Some of you may know me and some not, as some will be aware of LDPB and may be LDSIF.
The reason for this communication is that there has been for some months comments or discussions on the continuation of the LDPB both in its current form, some revision of its form or to even abolish the concept of LDPB altogether.
A meeting for the Reps of LDPB and LDSIF has been arranged on 4 October 2017 at St Mary’s Church in Sheffield, UK.
 Before I continue with this, please see below some information of the inclusion within LDPB and LDSIF.
Within the term LD this does include and/or Autism, although there are discussions on going in forming a separate Autism Partnership Board.
LDPB currently meets every two months, it is a Public meeting and therefore anyone can attend. It was formed under ‘Valuing People‘, which was ‘A vision for the 21st Century’, a White Paper presented in March 2001 and in Chapter Nine it laid down the provision of Partnership working by Partnership Boards which were to be established by October 2001.
There are a number of reps who are down to attend and these come to represent the following
Sheffield City Council
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
Sheffield Healthwatch
LD Service Providers
Persons with LD
Carers of persons with LD
Sheffield Carers Centre
This Board used to meet every month, but approximately 2 years ago a recommendation, by Sheffield City Council, was put before the Board that the monthly meetings become 2 monthly and in the other months SIFS would be created, so in effect month by month there would either be a SIF or PB meeting. While there was no real objection to SIFs being formed there was to make the LDPB to 2 monthly from 1 monthly and it was the majority view of the LDPB members at that meeting to continue to meet monthly. Remember this was a partnership and all partners should be equal, but 1 partner, namely, Sheffield City Council (SCC) decided against the majority decision, so much for the partnership principle and democracy.
The various SIFs were created and for the LDSIF as well as the reps from SCC, reps from persons with LD and Carers of persons with LD could apply to be reps and if agreed by SCC then they could attend. This was not fully within the partnership principle and the meetings would not be Public meetings, so only the reps could attend or others as invited. The SIFs have not been created by Statute as was LDPB and is purely a decision by SCC.
Now SIFs are supposed to deal with operational issues while LDPB to deal with strategic issues.
There are a number of SIFs, in addition to LDSIF and these include
Carers, where I am also a Carers Rep
Adult
Mental Health
and possibly a couple more.
As I stated above regarding the discussions on the future of LDPB and in effect LDSIF a joint meeting has been arranged for the reps of both LDPB and LDSIF to attend and a copy of the invite is attached. For information this joint meeting is on Wednesday 4th October 2017 at St Mary’s Church from 11am to 2pm.
I will be attending as well as other carer reps and I do wish to know the views of others within Sheffield, whether they be LD Carers or not, but especially LD Carers and others within the LD community, be they persons with LD, LD Service Providers or any other connection with LD.
I have scanned the internet for information regarding Sheffield LD Partnership Board and although there appeared to be links they did not connect with any relevent information except for this from 2007 and this Help for People with Learning Disabilities. The first link is now 10 years old and the person who appears as the originator for the Foreword, Josie Bennett, who is no longer with Sheffield City Council and there goes another tale which I may proceed to mention some other time. Looking at the second link this appears to be more promising until you progress on the link and the get the message ‘Sheffield has a Learning Disabilities Partnership Board to help us make sure that we meet the needs of people with a learning disability in Sheffield. The Partnership Board meets every two months and is attended by family carer representatives, people with a learning disability, and representatives from agencies in the city who work with people with a learning disability.’ if you then follow that link you get Search Results (0). Now I would say that is not a very encouraging sign for the future of LDPB within Sheffield.
Please do advise your comments, do you agree with me or have your conclusions. LD Boards in other areas do appear to be active being Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire,York and current minutes are readily available, while for Sheffield no current information appears to be readily available.
I also facilitate a LD Carers Support Group at Sheffield Carers centre for which there is an email address being ldcarersbuttygroup@gmail.com, please could you direct replies, comments, etc to that email or to the FLASH (Families Lobbying and Advising Sheffield), of which I am also a member, email being flashld575@gmail.com.
I do look forward to hearing from, as do my fellow reps, especially in these times of change, uncertainty and austerity, not on just the uncertainty regarding LDPB and LDSIF, but any aspect of relating to care. I repeat the 2 emails where comments are encouraged to be made being flashld575@gmail.comor ldcarersbuttygroup@gmail.com or you could come to the LD Support group which is held every 4th Tuesday of each month at the Carers Centre from 12 noon to 2pm, please bring a Butty (Sandwich) drinks tea, coffee, water are providing.
The website of the support group is ldcarersbuttygroup
Thank you
Chris Sterry

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