Hampshire County Council Short Break Consultation

Submitted on 12 March 2018 by Charlotte Vaughan


Hampshire County Council is proposing to make changes to Hampshire’s Short Break Activities.  Proposals include a funding cut of £1m to the existing £2.4m budget (equivalent to a 40% cut in funding) from 2019/20.


You can find a full information pack, including easy read and paper versions of the consultation online at:



Hampshire are holding Short Break drop in consultation sessions at venues around the County throughout March, April and May.  Find a session near you at: 



The Council is planning to run some virtual question and answer sessions to allow members of the public the opportunity to get further information on the consultation and its proposals. These will be held from 13:30 to 15:30 on Tuesday 10 April, and from 17:00 to 19:00 on Tuesday 29 May.  To register your interest in attending this session apply online at:




There are nine proposals.  The proposals give suggestions about how Hampshire might cut funding for Short Breaks in 2019/20 by doing things differently.  Below is a brief description of each proposal and some things to think about when giving your views. 

Proposal 1: To commission Short Break Activities based on priorities, agreed with a representative parent carer panel.   Think about who will have the final say on ‘priorities’?  How might this impact on some of our smaller Short Break providers who are offering specialist services?  How will this impact on areas of Hampshire where few providers are prepared to step forward (for instance, rural areas)?  

Proposal 2: Parent carers should pay in advance for Short Break activities to allow providers to plan their resources more accurately. Do you think this is a good idea?  Are your family able to pay for Short Break activities in advance?

Proposal 3: Short Break Activities to apply consistent parent carer charges and hardship rates.  How this would work on the ground?  Providers offer very different levels of service.  For instance, one provider might take your child to a theme park for the day.  Another provider might offer a one-hour sensory session in a village hall.  If there is a general rule about costs, will some schemes end up subsidizing others?  Might you end up paying more for some of the activities your child accesses?

Proposal 4: To move to an online Gateway Card application system.  Do you think this would make the application process easier for you?

Proposal 5:  To introduce higher eligibility criteria for Gateway Cards.  This moves us from an open-access system to one where only certain children and young people who can evidence a higher level of need will be eligible to access Short Breaks.  Is this fair?  What do you think?

Proposal 6:  To stop funding Short Break Activities for young people aged 18 and over.  What happens to a young person when they reach 18 years of age?  Will they suddenly have to pay a lot more than others to access the same Short Breaks?  Will they be able to access Short Breaks at all?  Who will be responsible for ensuring that they don’t ‘lose out’?   

Proposal 7:  Short Break Activities would only be funded for children who live in Hampshire. Some children living just outside Hampshire borders attend Hampshire schools.  Will this mean they are no longer able to attend after school activities receiving Hampshire Short Break funding?  Or, will they have to pay more to attend these same activities alongside their classmates?  What do you think about that?

Proposal 8:  To only fund Short Break Activities which allow parents and carers to leave the child.   HPCN members think this is an unfair proposal which penalizes families who find it hard to leave their child completely. For instance, some children might present separation anxiety but be able cope with Short Break sessions if the parent stays in the building.  The parent might value this opportunity to share their load of caring with others, even if they need to be present at some level.  What do you think?  

Proposal 9: To stop funding swimming lessons as a short break activity.  HPCN members report that 1:1 swimming lessons are one of the most valued of all the short breaks activities.  Disabled children rarely get the opportunity to swim in schools and often struggle to access learning within group swimming lessons even with individual support.  Parents value the short time that swimming lessons give them to step away and chat with a friend or have a coffee.



Find out if your child or young person’s activities are currently funded by Short Breaks and might be impacted by funding cuts and changes by following this link: https://fish.hants.gov.uk/kb5/hampshire/directory/results.page?coverage=all&searchtype=event

(You can refine your search further by scrolling down the left hand column and selecting your own area of Hampshire under the search criteria ‘coverage area’.)

Please email your County Councillor and ask them to protect Short Break funding.  We have provided you with a document expaining how to do this here



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