Public to be asked AGAIN about closure of adult care centre in Hemel Hempstead

The public will be asked for a SECOND time on proposals to close short break centres for adults with disabilities - including one in Hemel Hempstead.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 1:26 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 1:28 pm

Hertfordshire County Council had drafted proposals to close Tewin Road Care Home in the town among three of the eight residential centres across the county.

But in response to the public consultation – which closed last Thursday – the council is now drawing up an alternative set of proposals.

Director of adult care and health Iain Macbeath told a meeting of the adult care and health cabinet panel last Wednesday that there would be further consultation.

Tewin Road Care Home

However the detailed proposals for the second consultation are not yet available.

Mr MacBeath said that as a result of the initial consultation the council now wanted to look at changing the options – closing and removing different units.

It was estimated that the initial plans – to close Hixberry Lane in St Albans, Isabel Court in Hoddesdon and Tewin Road in Hemel Hempstead – would have saved the council £900,000 a year, which officers said could be better spent elsewhere.

Officials also said most people using those three centres could access an alternative within 15 miles of their homes.

But Mr MacBeath said that as some parents might have been ‘less interested’ in the consultation because ‘their’ unit wasn’t threatened, he said they needed to do it again to ensure everyone had a fair say.

At the meeting, Labour councillor Nigel Bell (West Watford) – who had raised concerns about the plans to close Tewin Road centre in Hemel Hempstead – was given assurances that the feedback given as part of the initial consultation would not need to be repeated.

The ‘short break’ centres are designed offer adults with disabilities a break from their daily routine and can offer the opportunity to learn new skills during their stay.

But they are primarily designed to give often much-needed respite to those who devote much of their lives to their care.

Following the meeting, executive member for adult care and health Cllr Richard Roberts (Con, Kings Langley) said the decision to go out to further consultation showed that the council was listening.

He said: “While it may be inconvenient to go through the consultation process again it really shows that in this sensitive area we really need to be listening and listening very carefully to what our users and our carers say to us – and that’s why we are going back out to consultation.”