Respite centre for adults with learning disabilities faces closure

A respite centre for adults with learning disabilities is facing closure. Bexley council has launched a consultation about the facility in Brook Street, Northumberland Heath, Erith, after carers at the unit were apparently “dissatisfied” with the unit.

It provides six beds, one for emergency placements and five for scheduled respite care.

The consultation, which ends on Monday, January 31, could result in the centre closing and allocating personal budgets to service users to buy respite care elsewhere or keep the centre and improve it.

A council report for the Health and Adult Social Care committee reads: “Officers are aware of ad hoc feedback which suggests that there are a range of reasons as to why carers choose or refuse particular services.

Some carers prefer locations outside of Bexley. A number of carers prefer the council’s Community Living and Support Scheme which has registered placements in the Isle of Wight and Canterbury.

“The council has reviewed alternative providers and will continue to accredit and increase the options available. To date, 12 providers would be able to supply a service similar to Brook Street.

“The council has become aware that some carers are dissatisfied with the Brook Street Respite service and are requesting alternative respite options. Analysis of Brook Street placement data shows that the service is significantly under utilised and therefore expensive and represents poor value for money.”