Category: Respite Care

From the Westmoreland Gazette. 16th September 2010

COUNCILLORS have agreed to drastic spending cuts in order to cope with a £7.93 million reduction in their budget.

As part of the Government’s £6.2 billion cut in public spending, every council in the UK is being forced to cut back.

Cumbria County Council this morning agreed to the cuts at a cabinet meeting.

Children’s services will be hit hardest, with a £3.1 million reduction in the area-based grant.

This means that there will have to be funding reductions in the way the council supports schools in areas such as under attainment, attendance, healthy eating, extended services and travelling to school initiatives.

The funding reductions in children’s services will also impact on other organisations.

The council’s contribution to the Connexions service, which helps 13-19 year olds progress into adult life through support and development, is being reduced by £415,000…..

………….We are particularly concerned that we are still awaiting decisions from the Government on a further £1.75m in grants for play areas, respite care facilities for disabled children and Children’s Centres.”

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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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A CHARITY giving respite care to families of disabled children is facing closure.

From Barking and Dagenham Post. 18th August 2010.

“Crossroads Care in Althorne Way, Dagenham, expressed its regret at the planned closure on September 9, but said it had been unable to withstand public sector funding cuts that larger organisations could have weathered.

The Barking and Dagenham charity is the first out of 100 Crossroads branches in the UK to be earmarked for closure.

Crossroads Care helps nearly 130 families with disabled children and around 170 adults including dementia sufferers.

The charity’s demise could lead to the loss of 50 jobs.

Charity bosses are negotiating with their main client, Barking and Dagenham Council, in a bid to continue giving breaks to carers.

Council chiefs pledged to do everything to ensure Crossroads services continued to be delivered, through individual social care payments giving carers Government cash.

St Mark’s Church vicar Rev Roger Gayler, the charity’s chairman, said: “It has become clear that we do not have the funds to continue to operate beyond September 9…..”

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A mother and her severely disabled son fear vital respite care is being withdrawn from people across the county after being told a care home is earmarked to close.

From the Kettering Evening Telegraph. 7th September 2010

“Wheelchair user Mark Williams, 49, is physically disabled and needs round-the-clock care after suffering a brain tumour and stroke.

He has been told by staff at Pine Lodge, in Motala Close, Corby, he will not be able to book a visit in the autumn because services have been cut by the county council.

Mr Williams, of Wentworth Road, Finedon, has been visiting the home for respite care for 12 years and said social services suggested he could have carers at his own home instead while his 74-year-old mother Eileen, who acts as his full-time carer, has a break in November…..”

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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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