Wandsworth centre for learning difficulties earmarked for closure

A centre for people with learning disabilities is set to close next year following a review of adult care services which will change the way Wandsworth Council provides social care.

The Atheldene Centre on Garratt Lane, which is currently one of the main day care centres for people with learning difficulties in Wandsworth, is due to close in 2011 as part of the council’s “better days” plan to revolutionise its adult social care provision.

As part of the plans, the council has earmarked six other centres around the borough to provide the same level of adult social care but with lower overall annual costs of around £100,000.

Councillor Jim Maddan, cabinet member for adult care, said: “The national model is to create services that are person-centred and community based, that promote inclusion and provide more choices and opportunities.

“The Atheldene as a large, segregated building, does not fit with this approach.”

Centres part of the new plans will include the Wilditch Community Centre in Battersea, as well as new centres in Balham, Tooting and Putney, which the council feels will offer a more person centred-approach to care, and will be accessible to a greater number of users throughout the borough.

The new community-based approach will also fit in with the council’s transformation of adult social services, where users will be able to manage their own budgets to spend on services that they feel will be most beneficial to them, rather than using the council’s traditional social care package.