care centre closure blow

Nottinghamshire County Council have announced plans to close Stephen House in Retford  (w110621-8b)
Nottinghamshire County Council have announced plans to close Stephen House in Retford (w110621-8b)

NOTTS County Council is to close Stephen House in Retford as part of its latest day services modernisation plans, it has announced this week.

The authority is to shut the centre on Chapelgate for adults with learning difficulties, as well as the daycare service at St Michael’s View care home.

Council chiefs say the changes are part of a £4m modernisation programme to keep new-style centres open for 50 weeks a year and make them available to the community at evenings and weekends.

The new multi-purpose day services will be based at 13 buildings across the whole of the county, with the nearest being Grove Street in Retford and Eastgate and new Library hub in Worksop.

Leader of the Labour opposition Coun Alan Rhodes said an “awful” decision had been made.

“These facilities will be greatly missed – once again it’s the elderly and the most vulnerable in society who will bear the brunt of these county council cuts,” he said.

The county council said all people who use the services at Retford will be offered an alternative day service at no extra cost.

Chiefs say the need to save £187m over the next four years has made it difficult to justify keeping all day service buildings open, and that the authority must look for ways to offer more a “modern” and “cost-effective” service.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health Coun Kevin Rostance said they were looking to spread the success of the shared-use model currently operating at the Worksop Library hub.

“We’re entering a new era in social care where increasing demand and limited resources will mean all councils have to do what they can to support more people to live independently, increasingly using personal budgets to give people the opportunity to control their own care,” he said.

“These changes to our day services are designed to meet this modern environment and to ensure that better quality services at targeted at those with greatest need.”

The full proposals from the council’s consultation exercise on the day service review will be considered at the Full Council Thursday on 30th June.