Lancashire County Council pledges to replace adult support services

HELPING HAND: The Help Direct Hound at a previous advice event on the Flag Market
HELPING HAND: The Help Direct Hound at a previous advice event on the Flag Market
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County Hall bosses have allayed fears over a valued support service.

The contracts for Help Direct, based in Cannon Street, Preston, end in August. The service, commissioned by County Hall, provides help and advice on everything from health to personal finance.

People who need more intensive support will be given a dedicated face-to-face service to help them address their needs.

Coun Azhar Ali

Lancashire County Council revealed the free service will be transformed into a new wellbeing service.

County Coun Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “The contracts for the current Help Direct Service will end in August.

“From September, we will be replacing it with a new integrated wellbeing service, which will provide improved support and advice to help people stay fit and well.”

Coun Ali added LCC will be upping investment into the new service.

He said: “We’ll keep many of the services offered as part of Help Direct, such as the popular Lancashire Safe Trader scheme. However we will increase investment in the new service, which will focus on improving people’s mental wellbeing, making them feel less lonely and isolated and supporting them to do all they can to care for themselves.

“The telephone advice line will remain the same number - 0303 333 111 - and more information will be provided on the Lancashire County Council website from the autumn.

“People who need more intensive support will be given a dedicated face-to-face service to help them address their needs.”

Coun Ali said the new contractors should be unveiled in the summer.

He said: “Contracts for the new service are out to tender and the announcement about who will be running the new service will be made at the end of June.”