Thurrock Council could take control of new autism service to stop people being sent out of the borough

THURROCK Council is considering taking on a new autism service that would help prevent people from being sent out of the borough for support.

The authority could take control of a supported housing service that is being built on Medina Road in Grays because it does not have enough residential support services.

Council papers explain that this has led to people being sent outside of the borough “away from their families and communities”, which can be costly to the authority.

Medina House will be a specialist facility with six residential rooms, each with outdoor space, a shared lounge and accommodation of on-site carers.

It was funded through the council’s successful bid for investment from the Government’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund and developed in partnership with Peabody Trust, one of the largest housing associations in the south east.

While a final completion date is not known, the council says it is “nearing completion” and will be open to people 18 or over and diagnosed with autism.

A council report due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet said: “The vision for the scheme is to support people with autism to live a full and independent life.

“This will be achieved through a detailed assessment which will include specialist care and support service and where appropriate, education, vocational and employment opportunities.

“The assessment of need will result in an individualised care plan for each person, this will cover every aspect of the person’s life.

“It will be expected that the person, their family and individual support will link together to ensure that the right service is accessed, or bespoke services are developed.”

The report goes on to explain there is an expectation that the numbers of young people with autism in Thurrock will increase.

A strategy developed by the council’s Adult Social Care team stated there will be an expected 13 per cent increase in the number of people aged between 18 and 64 with autism over the next 17 years.

This estimate is based largely on the number of younger people coming through from the Children’s Social Care department.

The procurement of the Medina House service will be discussed by council bosses on Wednesday.

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