Category: Cheshire

From the Knutsford Guardian. 2nd September 2010.

A HIGH Legh man who provides full time care for his disabled wife has blasted recent cuts in health and social care facilities in the area.

“The pensioner contacted the Guardian after we revealed that the Tatton Unit at Knutsford Community Hospital will close on September 6 for four months.

It later emerged that this is due to the ward being just one doctor short.

But the carer, who has asked to remain anonymous to respect his wife’s wishes, says it is just the latest in a series of closures that have taken place without considering the impact on users.

The 68-year-old used to take his wife, who is mentally and physically disabled, to Cypress House, in Handforth, at the weekends for respite.

But the unit, which has 30 beds and 38 day care places, closed to save Cheshire East Council £700,000 a year – despite a challenge from eight councillors.

The High Legh resident now has to take his wife to respite facilities at Macclesfield, Congleton or Crewe.

He said: “I do recognise that today’s financial climate makes it necessary for the council to find cost savings and this will necessarily inconvenience some of us.

“I am prepared to take my share if I can see that decisions are being taken fairly.

“If one centre had to close then cost will be a major factor, but I consider it should have been essential to take into account the impact on users of the centre chosen.

“In this case, I would have expected to at least have been consulted about the impact on my life. At weekends I could make the round trip to Handforth in under an hour.

“I find that the round trip to Macclesfield takes little short of two hours so the closure of Cypress House costs me something approaching four hours out of my respite.

“In addition I incur additional petrol costs. I have asked if a taxi can be provided to relieve me of the journeys, but this request has been refused.

“So it seems the council is prepared to save money by, in effect, transferring some of its costs onto carers. I was not consulted at all.””

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Vulnerable young people and low income families suffer as grants are axed

From the Runcorn and Widnes World. 7th September 2010.

“SEVERE cuts in Government grants of £6.8 million from this year’s spending have forced Halton Council to axe 41 jobs and slash services.

Councillors unanimously approved an amended budget at an extra-ordinary meeting in Runcorn Town Hall last week.

Vulnerable teenagers, low income families, children in care, mentally ill youngsters, victims of crime and domestic violence and young people suffering drug and alcohol misuse will be hit by the loss of funding.

Council leader, Clr Rob Polhill, now fears further coalition cuts of up to £15 million a year for the next three years could have a more devastating impact on the local community.

He said: “This is absolutely unprecedented.

“Halton, which is a deprived community is bearing the brunt of these cuts.

“We have taken a bigger hit than many other areas. It is totally unfair and a worry for us.

“We are under no illusion, services will suffer.”

Halton has lost £17.09 per head, more than double the national average of £8.75.

The loss of £601,379, allocated to Halton as one of the most deprived areas, means schemes to tackle teenage pregancies, domestic violence and anti-social behaviour will be cut.

Counselling and care for children and young people with mental health lost £50,000….”

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Jobs and services on the line as borough faces up to Government cuts

From the Manchester Evening News. September 8th 2010.

Two units in Macclesfield are set for closure. “Riseley Street respite unit, a learning disability care service, and Willows day centre, which provides social support services, are both facing the axe.

More than 130 people currently use the two services, but Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust (CECPCT), which funds both, says the closures would have no negative impact on patients.

Riseley Street costs £245,000 a year to run and Willows Day Centre £561,000.

CECPCT says it faces a £1.4m shortfall in its mental health, learning disability, drug and alcohol treatment budget…….”

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