Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Consultation on day care services in Thurrock ends

THURROCK Council has completed a consultation on the closure of its meals on wheels service and two day care centres in a bid to save more than £500,000.

The council began the consultation in July when lockdown measures preventing the use of three day centres were set to be lifted.

The consultation proposed closure of the Bellhouse centre in a converted shop in south Ockendon and Kynock Court, as well as a sheltered housing scheme in Stanford-le-Hope.

Instead it was proposed one centre in Cromwell Road, Grays, a purpose-built site with a number of rooms for varied activities, would remain open.

Of the 49 respondents from Kynock court, only 13 people, 24 per cent said they would not attend Cromwell Road if their centre was not available anymore while 76 per cent said they would.

The Meals on Wheels service, formerly run by the WRVS but now managed by the council, operates from a council-owned building in Corran Way, South Ockendon. It is need of refurbishment but if the service closes it is likely the site will be sold to developers.

The consultation revealed out of the 89 people receiving meals from the delivery scheme, only 24 had no alternative support in place. Each of these 24 people will be assessed and options identified to provide an alternative solution. This will save the council £200.000

A report to Health and Wellbeing Board councillors said: “Rationalising the three day-care sites into a single site at Cromwell Road will allow us to create a much more comprehensive offer at Cromwell Road including a refurbished building, longer opening hours and better services.

“It will also allow the council to retain the highly popular sitting service that commenced during Covid-19 lockdowns as an alternative to day care. The sitting service provides an out of hours’ flexible service that fits better with how residents live their lives.”

For the closure of the Meals on Wheels service, the report adds: “The Reviews Team continue to assess individuals and seek alternative arrangements, they will be looking at the providers within the community that can meet some of the needs.

“There are also other options such as day care and lunch clubs – including the Café at Piggs Corner and the Friendship Cafe at Cromwell Road when this reopens. These services can provide a meal outside of the home, which will also help to tackle the issue of isolation. transport can be arranged, including for wheelchairs, where required.”

The committee will discuss the consultation on November 4.

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