Disability centre ‘jewel in the crown of Burgess Hill’ says councillor

Councillor Anne Jones outside Ernest Kleinwort Court in Burgess Hill with Barbara Anthon and Mid Sussex Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Robert Egglestone. Picture: Steve Robards
Councillor Anne Jones outside Ernest Kleinwort Court in Burgess Hill with Barbara Anthon and Mid Sussex Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Robert Egglestone. Picture: Steve Robards

Residents at Ernest Kleinwort Court in Burgess Hill are ‘shocked’, ‘anxious’ and ‘have no idea what or where their future home will be’ a councillor has said.

Since the centre was built more than 33 years ago it has provided a ‘home’ for residents living with long-term disabilities.

But due to an ‘inadequate’ CQC rating and an ongoing struggle to recruit staff, The Disabilities Trust, which runs the centre, made an ‘incredibly hard’ decision to close the centre this October.

Burgess Hill councillor Anne Jones said she and her colleagues were ‘shocked’ by the news.

She told the Middy: “This centre was the dream of Norman Thody. Serving as a councillor on the Mid Sussex District Council planning committee I recall how delighted we were when this ambitious plan became a reality.

“I saw it as a jewel in the crown of Burgess Hill along with Marten House and Manor Court – safe, secure homes for our residents.

“The residents are shocked and anxious as they have no idea what or where their future home will be. There lives will be turned upside down as they face an unknown future.

“Alongside the many closures of care homes across Mid Sussex the pressures on the local authorities and our health services will increase with the closure of such well planned homes.

“The local community especially, Sheddingdean Baptist Church have supported The Disabilities Trust over many years, sadly it may appear the large organisations do not have the same commitment and care for todays’ residents as was there in the past.

“Perhaps with discussions across the organisations we can find a way to keep these homes for current and future generations.”

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