Alarm as three social care centres face the axe

TWO care homes and a day centre serving the elderly and disabled are facing closure under a Newham Council proposal.

A move to axe Rawalpindi, Canning Town and Greengate Lodge, Plaistow residential care homes and the Greenhill Centre in Manor Park will be recommended for public consultation at a cabinet meeting tomorrow (18/11).

Relatives and users of the three facilities have expressed alarm at the proposals.

Jacqui Manning, 43, whose mother Cordel has been a resident at Greengate Lodge for the past three-and-half years, said: “People are really happy with the quality of care that is provided.

“There is a real concern about where people will be moved to.

“A lot of people have been in Greengate for years so it has a real family feeling.

“It has become a home from home and people have become very attached to their carers.”

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Pat Victor, of Plaistow Grove, Stratford, who suffers from arthritis of the spine and diabetes, uses the Greenhill Centre every day.

The 68-year-old said: “It’s drastic.

“They are a family to me.”

Pat said she did not think she would be able to afford the level of care that she currently receives at Greenhill if she was forced to look for alternatives.

The disabled pensioner said she would probably just “sit indoors” and “wait for God” if the centre was closed.

A spokesman for Newham Council said: “We will have to make some tough decisions in light of the spending cuts imposed on us by the coalition government.

“We must make savings and we are asking people what they would like to see happen at Greengate Lodge, Rawalpindi House and the Greenhill Centre.

“No decision on their future has been taken, but whatever is agreed, we will ensure people who live in our residential care homes or use our day centres have access to high quality facilities that give them a better quality of life, while offering value for money.

“Greengate Lodge and Rawalpindi House cannot offer the modern facilities that people deserve.

“They are underused and are expensive to run. We are talking to residents, their families, and staff about the types of services they would like in future and the care packages that best meet their needs.

“Based on current usage there would be enough spaces in quality care homes in Newham to house all of the permanent residents, if required.

“The Greenhill Centre is outdated and requires significant investment. Fewer people are using it because more people are using their individual budgets differently.

“The council is committed to making individual budgets available for those eligible so that they have greater choice, control and flexibility over the support that best suits them.

“If closures are ultimately agreed they would be phased to minimise disruption to users. We would also guarantee that eligible people affected will get individual support to access alternative provision elsewhere in the borough during the transitional period.”