Aylsham support for disabled to be withdrawn

Families of severely disabled adults in north Norfolk fear they will lose their much-needed respite care after a decision to close beds. NHS Norfolk is closing five respite beds in Aylsham and one in King's Lynn, which are used by a total of 39 families across the year.

FAMILIES of severely disabled adults in north Norfolk fear they will lose their much-needed respite care after a decision to close beds.

NHS Norfolk is closing five respite beds at Aylsham and one at King's Lynn, which are used by a total of 39 families across the year. The move comes because of the closure of care homes for the mentally ill, which has been encouraged by the government as part of a drive towards care in the community.

Earlier this month it was reported that NHS Norfolk had been criticised by the High Court for the way it decided to close one of the care homes, Birch Tree Close, also known as Park View, at King's Lynn. The legal action was taken by the parents of Tracey Butt, 44, who lives there.

But NHS Norfolk is still planning to close the care homes at Birch Tree Close and 1 Mill Close at Aylsham, and it says this makes the respite beds on both sites unviable.


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David Stonehouse, deputy chief executive of NHS Norfolk, said: "As a consequence of the campus closure programme there will be insufficient service remaining to provide a viable, appropriate and safe service at 3 Mill Close, Aylsham and 4 Park View, King's Lynn.

"NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council are working in partnership to review current respite care services and consult with users, families, carers and representatives to ensure appropriate re-provision of respite services."

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He said family members were involved in the review, and a support group had been set up. The consultation is expected to start in March or April.

Are you affected by the loss of beds at Mill Close? Contact Sarah Brealey on 01603 772485 or email sarah.brealey@archant.co.uk.

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