Care services for handicapped worse than prison, says father

First published in News by

PRISONERS receive better care from the government than handicapped people, says the father of a severely disabled man after the next stage of cuts to adult day care in South Worcestershire were given the nod.

Tony Horner, of Lower Moor, near Pershore, whose disabled son Michael, aged 45, attends Evesham Day Care Centre, said he understood the need for cut backs but failed to see the benefit for the disabled people at the centre of the service.

As part of money saving plans the cut backs by Worcestershire County Council will see the current centre for disabled adults in Evesham's Davies Road closed.

Other changes mean the resource centre for the more severely disabled service users in Evesham and Pershore will now be located at the Three Springs Day Centre in Pershore and the Evesham Library will house the Evesham Connect, for adults with the less severe disabilities.

Day time services for the handicapped adults will no longer be provided at the centre in Station Road, Pershore but the provision of short respite breaks at Station Road is not affected.

On Thursday, July 31, county councillor Sheila Blagg, who was given delegated powers to make a decision, said she supported in principle the changes in the report.

Mr Horner and other parents have been working with the council throughout the consultation process opposing early plans to house the Evesham Connect centre in a garage at the library.

"The library is a better option than the garage," he said. "There is no time scale for the move yet and they certainly listened to us.

"We can't get everything we want, but I can't see what's changing for the better. They have to save money, I sympathise towards that but by the same token you have better care with Long Lartin prison than with being a handicapped person."

As part of the plans the adults will be taken out of the connect centre during the day to take part in activities, but mum Yvonne Hopkins, from Broadway, whose son Martin, aged 50, also attends Evesham Day Care Centre, said that wouldn't work for him.

"He has not got it easy," she said. "His legs always play him up, to think he had to go out all day I don't think that will work. You have got to have somewhere to go come rain and snow to take him to Evesham for him to go out, it's just not going to work."

The council will now complete the remaining five re-assessments and ensure all needs can be met, and at this point a final decision will be made.

Cllr Blagg said: "The new model for day services which went out to consultation was approved by Cabinet in 2012.

"The move to new buildings is subject to confirmation that the service user plans are in place and individual needs can be met."

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