Plans to replace Aylsham respite centre

Plans to close an Aylsham respite centre and replace it with one in Taverham have been welcomed.

Currently, the respite care for adults with learning disabilities is provided at Mill Close, Aylsham.

However, the building is no longer suitable, and so proposals to create a new five-bed centre in Kingswood Avenue, Taverham, have been put forward.

The centre, which will be used by families from across Norfolk, will cost around �420,000 to create by refurbishing a former NHS campus property.

Tim O'Rourke, a project manager for Norfolk County Council's community service, told members of the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting that families had been closely consulted over the proposals.

He said: 'The service will be 24-hour and include 24-hour nursing care, as it does at the moment.

'It will be in a much, much better environment then Mill Close, which falls well short of being suitable.'

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He added: 'Mill Close staff are committed to providing a good service, but the staff have struggled to do that in a woeful and inadequate building.'

Mr O'Rourke also reassured members that the current centre in Aylsham would not close until the refurbishment of the Taverham premises was complete, which is estimated to be by February, 2013.

Proposals were first mooted years ago to discontinue the centre in Aylsham, which provides short-term respite care for adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs.

It was initially thought this service would be no longer needed but, after campaigining by families, NHS Norfolk, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney and Norfolk County Council agreed the five-bed service was still needed.

Broadland District Councillor John Bracey, a member of the scrunity committee, said: 'It's been a long sad story, but it's good to know that eventually the situation will be resolved. '

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