THE MOTHER of a grown up disabled daughter is calling on council bosses to listen to the “desperate” cries for help from parents who want to save an at-risk Spalding care home.
Pauline Hill (75) takes her 48-year-old daughter Janice to Cedar House for short breaks from the 24-hours-a-day care she needs.
Janice suffers from Cornelia de Lange syndrome – a genetic condition which severely impacts on her learning and mobility - and Pauline says the home, behind the Chappell Centre, offers a vital service for parents in her position.
Those parents have now formed a committee and vowed to fight to save the home – after its future was put up for review by Lincolnshire County Council and hope to win wider support from the two as part of a public consultation on the plans.
Mrs Hill said: “My daughter cannot walk unaided, she can’t talk and she still needs to get up three times a night and she’s 48 – it does make life difficult.
“This offers a break for all the family and we are going to lose that if it closes.”
The home was purpose built and only opened in 2009. Lincolnshire County Council wants to move towards “personal budgets” and give people the money to find and fund their own care, rahter than have it directly provided.
Mrs Hill said: “We have got a lot of paperwork that says they will you us the money to buy our own care. Where would that be? Why would they shut something that they have only just built?”
Janice used to visit a home in Winsover Road, but has had to travel to Skegness and then Stamford as respite homes were closed over the last few years. Pauline was one of a number of parents who fought to try to get Cedar House to open.
The home is owned by the council but run by private firm Heritage Care and 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.
Heritage Care’s contract runs out on September 30, 2012, with the possibility of an 18-month extension and the councill will be asked to look at its “future use, sale or retention”.
Mrs Hill was angry to see news of the bail out of the struggling Red Lion Quarter and although that is a district project, feels it is public cash that would be better spent on caring for people with profound learning difficulties and disabilities.
Mrs Hill said: “They are worrying about that place in Spalding which might cost £300,000 – that might be money straight down the drain. It could be better used to help this.
“We have got 90 days and that’s all we’ve got. If we don’t get something sorted they can do what they like.
“We are going to see somebody from the council - they don’t know what it is like to care for somebody with complex needs.
“Everybody is really really desperate for help. If someobody from the council came and saw that desperation then we might have second thoughts.”
To access the online consultation questionnaire go to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/dpsconsultation or call 01522 782156 to ask questions or request a copy.