Vital services for the elderly could leave East Grinstead unless residents speak up.
That is the message from users of the Glen Vue day centre, off Railway Approach, as West Sussex County Council consults on plans to close the facility – the only one of its kind in the town – and move it to Crawley.
31st May is the deadline – have your say and follow this link www.westsussex.gov.uk/choicesforthefuture
The council spokesman said “differing demands” and “inevitable pressures… requires a different approach which is less reliant on the provision of traditional building based activities.”
They said the service will be “re-provided,” meaning it is “not stopping running a service but providing it elsewhere or in a different way.”
The council said “it is important to stress that there will be no reduction in levels of support given to the people who use them.”
The facility is currently run by the council, but private healthcare company Shaw will take on the service in its Crawley Care homes if the current plan goes ahead.
The proposed sites are Burleys Wood, nine miles from Glen Vue, and Deerswood Lodge, 10 miles away.
Joan Roberts, a carer who looks after her husband who has Alzheimer’s disease hopes the service can be saved: “My husband attends Glen Vue. He lives at home with me but he goes twice a week.
The council runs the Glen Vue facility but it does not own the building.
The proposals are to close the service, but the continued lease of the site is not subject to consultation and its future remains unclear.
Glen Vue, which was first opened in 2005 as a specialist day centre for people with dementia, now caters for elderly people more generally.
It is open Monday to Friday, and caters for some vulnerable elderly people for up to four days a week.
The site also hosts The Memory Clinic, Action for Deafness, a carers support group, a family mediation service, a Relate marriage service, and several other clubs, including hosting a fish and chips evening for the residents of the social housing upstairs.
It is unclear what will happen to those services if the site closes its doors.
East Grinstead has one other private service which is similar, and Age UK also offers day activities, but it does not have the specialist facilities and cannot accommodate everyone.
The council says that until the final proposals are put forward for a decision it will not comment on the staff’s future. A spokesman said: “We are unable to finalise what our staffing structure would need to look like to implement the new arrangements.
“We have been continually talking to our staff and UNISON about the need to work in different ways to meet the changing needs of the residents of West Sussex. Any staffing changes would be subject to a formal consultation with staff.”
As there is a consultation underway and the council says it wants to hear from residents.
A council spokesperson said: “We are going to look at all the feedback from the survey before making any final decision on any of the proposals.”
Amanda Jupp, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said in a statement: “I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the survey so far.
“We know that changes to adult care services can be unsettling, but I am confident these proposals will mean we can meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents in the way they would like.
“While these proposals are wide-ranging, it is important to stress that there will be no reduction in levels of support given to the people who use them.
“There is still time to take part in the survey, and I would urge anyone whose loved ones make use of these services to share their views before the survey closes.”
Glen Vue is one of eight centres across West Sussex that may close as part of the proposals as they currently stand.
The consultation started on May 4, and ends on Thursday (May 31). To take part visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/choicesforthefuture.