Hertfordshire County Council has scheduled two public meetings to consult on the future of overnight respite services for children and young people.

Following the closure of Nascot Lawn in Watford in 2018, the overnight breaks are now offered at three centres, in West Hyde - near Rickmansworth - Welwyn Garden City and Hertford.

They are available to children and young people – aged between eight and 18 – with special needs and disabilities, including complex health needs, who live in the county.

The county council is currently preparing to recommission the overnight short break service.

Before they do, they are asking parents and carers to share their views on the plans.

According to the council’s proposals, overnight provision at three centres in the county would continue.

But providers would have to commit to fill more of the beds more often.

That’s because on average, one out of every four beds (25 per cent) have been empty.

The council wants providers to commit to reduce this figure by 10 per cent.

The proposals also suggest providers look at different types of breaks to run alongside – which, they say, could include occasional breaks, a buddying service, home-based breaks and activities that could prepare them for adulthood.

And they say this could also include the provision of parent support strategies to manage sleep routines or challenging behaviours.

The consultation – which was highlighted at the latest meeting of the county council’s children, young people and families cabinet panel – will run until April 30.

As part of the process, two public meetings have been scheduled for parents and carers to have their say.

The first meeting will be held at Birchwood Leisure Centre, in Hatfield, on Tuesday March 17 at 6pm.

The second will be at Welwyn Garden City Library on Thursday March 19, at 10am.