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Plans to close Sidcup care centre “about saving money, not improving care”

PUBLISHED: 11:35 21 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 21 December 2016

Craig Johnson with his mother Colette

Craig Johnson with his mother Colette

Archant

The mother of a man with learning disabilities has criticised the council

The mother of a man with learning disabilities has hit out at the council over the proposed closure of a centre for adults with special needs.

Colette Johnson, whose 32-year-old son Craig attends the Ken Boyce Centre in Sidcup, said plans to close it down are motivated by the need to save money rather than improve care.

Under the council’s plans, Bexley Library and other locations in the borough would take over care provision.

Parents and carers met with council officials to discuss the centre’s future on December 7 - and emotions were running high.

“The meeting was virtually all a formality,” she said. “They kept talking about ‘best practice’ and were complicating things.

“The more things are complicated, the more difficult it is to deal with the issues people have.

“As far as we are concerned it is about money, not quality of care. It is not going to be taken care of in the corner of the library in Bexleyheath.

“A lot of parents are really badly affected because they have children with behavioural problems.

“My son has made good friends there. They go to golf and have their routine, which is so important for people with special needs.”

A spokesperson for the council defended its care reforms.

“We are sorry that this resident is unhappy with the changes at the Ken Boyce Centre and we recognise that change can be unsettling,” they said.

“However, we are clear that this is not about saving money - indeed we plan to invest approximately £100,000 in community buildings - but about delivering an improved model of day opportunities that have been developed and implemented in many other areas.”

The spokesperson added that the changes are based on research supported by the Department of Health.

Will you be affected by the changes? Email simon.allin@archant.co.uk


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