Day centres closure “backed by users”, Rotherham Council claims

By Gareth Dennison | 25/04/2019

Day centres closure “backed by users”, Rotherham Council claims

COUNCIL bosses claim adults with learning disabilities being moved from daycare which is set to close have told them: “Life is better now.”

The move to close up to five centres - including Oaks in Wath (pictured) and Addison at Maltby - has seen huge opposition.

An online petition has more than 89,000 signatures and a judicial review is set to be heard in Leeds next month.

But RMBC says that the response from clients moving to other, independent provision has been positive.

Cllr David Roche, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We have had people come to us and say that this is the right direction.”

Transformation lead Jenny Anderson added: “I hear these stories every day now, which is brilliant.

“People that have moved from Oaks to different places have ended up changing \_- their persona has changed, outcomes have changed, what they want to achieve has changed.

“That to me is evidence that we are going in the right direction.”

But carer Monica Hudson, whose daughter attends Addison, said: “Why it’s being accepted is (because) families, parents and people with learning disabilities are being told that there’s no other option.

“There’s less than 40 people at Oaks now, the building’s in a rundown state and they’re no longer doing meals.

“Some have moved and been fine. There are some positive stories. But with others, friendship groups are being torn apart. People don’t want to move on but they’re being bullied out of there.”

It was revealed last September that more than half of the 752 learning disability service users had not had an assessment in 12 months - and 164 had been waiting over three years

RMBC promised to get through the backlog before the closures, which are part of a £3 million savings package.

Adult health director Anne Marie Lubanski would not give a figure for those still to be reviewed but said the council’s plan for Oaks was on schedule.

A report to last week’s health select commission said more than 50 service users had been helped into employment or volunteer roles at the likes of the RSPB, Costa and Asda.


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