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Day centre will remain open ‘in the longer term’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

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A DAY centre in Stretton which caters for people with severe learning disabilities will remain open for the foreseeable future, it has been confirmed.

Concerns had been raised that the respite unit would have to shut its doors under plans to overhaul services in Staffordshire.

But a spokesman for the authority confirmed this week that the Hillfield Lane unit would stay up and running ‘in the long term’.

He told the Mail: “People will still be looked after there. A lot of money has been spent on it, and the intention is to keep people with severe learning disabilities there in the longer term.”

Staffordshire County Council has recently held a consultation to determine a change in provision for people with learning difficulties.

The authority has now agreed to move people who need day care into purpose-built ‘centres of excellence’, which are to be built in a number of locations around the county.

Councillor Shelagh McKiernan, who represents Stretton for the county council, said recently she was worried that once these centres were up and running, the people at Stretton Edge could be uprooted and sent there – wherever it may be.

She told the Mail: “Provision has moved from the town centre into Stretton Edge, which has been modernised, and it looks beautiful.

“But there is just the worry that people will have got settled at the new place and then they will be moved.

“It can take a long time to make sure people with severe learning disabilities are settled.”

But the county council spokesman said that would not be the case.

Under the new system, the council will support people to organise their own personalised services.

Councillor Alan White said: “We want to ensure that people with learning disabilities know about the options available.”

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