More On The Plan To CLOSE Carlton Road Day Service
Ealing Council To Shut Day Centre by May 2015
What will happen to Ealing's most vulnerable?
Carlton Road Day Centre is a day service located in Carlton Road (W4 5DY), on the borders of Acton and Chiswick.
It serves more than 30 users with profound and multiple learning disabilities and a complex diagnosis (many who also have epilepsy and are wheelchair users with little or no mobility) with a full day care service, giving them the chance to undertake a variety of therapeutic and physical activities as well as providing a suitable space to socialise and spend time with friends and peers outside of the home environment.
It also allows the phenomenally hard working parents & carers a little time (and respite) from the rigours of day to day caring for a learning and physically disabled son or daughter, thereby preserving their health and wellbeing and allowing them as parents to care for their offspring for longer and for the better in the long term; (thereby saving the state the expense).
Carlton Road provides therapies such as Physiotherapy, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance Therapy as well as daily physio programs specifically designed for each user and using the specialised equipment the building houses. It works alongside the excellent PACE charity that provides twice weekly specialised disability sports sessions within the centre specially designed for those with a profound learning disability.
As the users are so very disabled, it is fully fitted out with hoists and changing areas for suitable and dignified toileting which is undertaken by an experienced, longstanding and professional staff team, all who are now facing redundancy. The staff team also have strong advocacy skills for their users and review, report and monitor users regularly and liase with health teams and families to ensure the users are given the best chances in life and retain their dignity and independence at all times.
Ealing Council, facing a huge budget cut from central government has decided that the centre will close in May 2015, before which each user will be re - assessed and parents & carers handed an individual budget to themselves provide for their son or daughters care. Parents & carers will be 'signposted' towards what Ealing Council regards as suitable alternatives to the Carlton Road day service. These services are mainly no existent within the borough for people of such a profound level of disability. It is all very rushed and poorly thought out.
Hindsight clearly shows through feedback from previous closures (i.e. Stirling Road Day Service in 2013) that parents and carers strongly feel the alternative services the council opted for are poorly provided and unsuitable; many former users from Stirling Road are unhappy and now receive poor quality and/or unsuitable day care services and also receive less time in day care.
The only conclusion is that Ealing Council is abandoning the users of Carlton Road, the most vulnerable people in our borough to save money - a one off saving of £180 K will be saved by axing the 17 staff and the sale of the site to a suitable developer will be worth several million.
If Ealing Council were a little more creative in their thinking they could provide a suitable alternative building for this group of users (and staff) to continue the service, perhaps tied in with one of the many new developments in the borough and pride itself on the fact that they would be willing to go 'the extra mile' for those most in need.
Are Ealing's most vulnerable individuals to be sacrificed because of the Council officers lack of creative thinking? The answer so far seems to be yes...