Fighting closure of two-year-old respite care home

Under threat: At Cedar House are parents and carers with clients. Photo: SG020911-135TW
Under threat: At Cedar House are parents and carers with clients. Photo: SG020911-135TW
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FAMILIES of people with severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities are pleading with county bosses not to shut a Spalding respite care home.

Lincolnshire County Council’s executive is due to discuss the future of its adult social care services today – and part of the package could be a review of the future of Cedar House in Spalding.

The home, which was purpose built and only opened in 2009, offers short term stays for disabled adults – giving parents a break from looking after them.

Many of the people who stay at Cedar House used to go to a previous home in Winsover Road, and since that shut have been faced with trips to Boston or Stamford before Cedar House, which is behind the Chappell Centre in Pinchbeck Road, opened.

Lisa O’Connor’s sister Janice Hill (49) visits Cedar House to give 75-year-old mum Pauline Hill a break.

Janice suffers from Cornelia de Lange syndrome – a genetic condition which severely impacts on her learning and mobility – and was one of the people who used the now-closed Winsover Road home.

Lisa said: “We all fought to get the place up and running - it only opened in 2009 and now they are threatening it.

“This will be their only lifeline taken away. They just treat them like animals and pass them from pillar to post.”

Council papers show the home, owned by the council but run by private firm Heritage Care, costs £300,000 a year to run. It has six ensuite rooms and supports 27 people, with nine staff.

The numbers have fallen from 44 since the county council changed the way it provides services to people with learning disabilities.

One single dad (57) who asked not to be named, takes his 27-year-old wheelchair-bound son, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, to Cedar House for 46 nights a year.

He said: “We do need a break. You can’t keep up with it 24/7. You can’t put a price on that and it’s not as if they don’t pay something towards it because they do. If they take this away there is nothing else.”

Heritage Care’s contract runs out on September 30, 2012, with the possibility of an 18-month extension. The council will be asked to agree a review over the “future use, sale or retention” of Cedar House.