Day services to be withdrawn from Burgess Hill care home
Day services provided at six care homes in West Sussex are to be closed.
The services, run by Shaw Healthcare Ltd, will be removed from Burleys Wood and Deerswood, in Crawley, Rotherlea in Petworth, Warmere Court in Yapton, Forest View in Burgess Hill, and Mill River Lodge in Horsham.
The decision was made during a meeting of the county council’s cabinet on Tuesday (November 16).
Amanda Jupp, cabinet member for adults services, told the meeting that, before the pandemic, 92 people were registered with the services but attendance was only 40 per cent.
She said: “This meant that the council was paying for places that were not being used.
“Following a review of current customers, there are now only 42 people who are eligible to return to these services – and some of them do not wish to do so.”
The decision to close the day services will save the council £750,000.
A consultation into the closures attracted 158 responses, with almost three-quarters of current and former customers disagreeing with the plans.
But the majority of members on a Task & Finish Group set up by the council’s Health and Adult Social Care committee supported them.
Keith Hinkley, director of adult social services, emphasised the council’s commitment to move away from a reliance on buildings-based care and provide support for people in their own homes and community.
He told the meeting: “The proposals will enable us to achieve savings without reducing the level of services that we provide.
“But, most importantly, would enable us to achieve the very best we can within our fixed resources, and commission the most support we possibly can to support people in the community.”
The closures were not supported by members of the opposition, with concerns raised about the impact on family and friends who act as carers.
Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Lord pointed out that 87 per cent of carers who responded to the consultation said the day centres were very important in allowing them to take a short break from their caring role.
She said: “This respite is essential if clients are to stay in their homes as long as possible, which is one of the aims of this council.
“But it’s not clear that the alternative provision provides the right support to ensure that will continue to happen.”
A report to the cabinet said community groups were available in all areas where the day centres were located but users would have to be accompanied by a carer or personal assistant where needed.
Mrs Lord added: “That alternative means the carer will not get the respite they would with the more secure Shaw day services and will find caring for a relative impacting significantly more on their own lives, including work, their own interests, their rest and their willingness to continue caring for their relative.”
Mrs Jupp highlighted the work of Carers Support West Sussex – an independent charity which offers support to some of the 89,000 carers living in the county.
She added: “There’s a great deal available out there. We just need to make sure we assess each individual and we provide the best services that are available.