Bexley carers protest against changes to day centres

PUBLISHED: 10:39 24 February 2011

Parents protesting at plans to reduce the number of days adults with learning disabilities will be able to attend day centres

Parents protesting at plans to reduce the number of days adults with learning disabilities will be able to attend day centres


Parents who care for adults with learning disabilities claim they will suffer “breakdowns” due to added pressure if day centre changes go ahead.

John Stanton says carers should fight the proposals

John Stanton, chairman of Friends of Carlton Day Centre, Sidcup, led a meeting on Monday concerning proposals to cut the amount of days their children can attend due to spending cuts.

About 30 parents attended the meeting, including his wife Jo, who cares for their son who has the brain condition Microcephaly and is partially sighted.

She said: “He would be very angry with us and the centre if the number of days he attends is reduced. It would be unbearable and breakdown is inevitable.

“We’re both pensioners and wouldn’t be able to cope with his needs.”

Other parents said they may have to consider placing their children in residential homes because they would not be able to look after them alone.

Residents who attend the centres are currently being assessed and these assessments will then go in front of a panel who will decide how many days they will be entitled to attend the centres.

Mr Stanton said: “We can’t tolerate that. We have got to stand together and fight this.

“It’s a major worry to everyone here that services are reducing.”

He added that adults with learning disabilities gain essential life skills and are stimulated in a way that they would not be if they remained at home.

The three day care centres spread across the borough are the Carlton Centre,Sidcup; Smerdon Centre, Erith and Ken Boyce Centre in Slade Green.

A spokesperson from the council said: “We are sensitive to the needs of individual service users, their parents and carers and it is important to us that they received the care and support they need.

“In a time of great pressure on public spending, we have to look at ways to get the best possible value from every penny we spend, to ensure that we can give priority to those in the greatest need.”

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