Alzheimer's Society Speaks Out Against Chiswick Day Centre Closure

Expressing 'disappointment' over Council plans to 'deprive people from accessing vital services'

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Alzheimer’s Society has written to councillors in Hounslow, urging them not close Chiswick Day Care Centre.

The letter highlights the charity’s disappointment over the way in which Hounslow Council has consulted on the planned closure, which will deprive many people living in the area from accessing vital services.

Excerpts from the letter, written by Jennie Whitford, Alzheimer's Society Support Services Manager in Hounslow, to all of Hounslow’s councillors, read:

"People living with the experience of dementia are amongst the most vulnerable members of our local communities in Hounslow; and their well-being should be a priority for those in the Council who are responsible for providing services and support.

"However, throughout the whole process regarding the reconfiguration of older people’s day services, there has been a complete disregard of their needs and views; and the actions of the Council to date has negated their right to quality person-centred services-thereby reneging on their duty of care.

"The process to date has already created ill-being for the clients living with the experience of dementia, put family carers in a state of unnecessary stress and worry.

"The Alzheimer’s Society is acutely aware that Hounslow is facing its most significant reduction in general grant, however, it also recognises that there needs to be a better use of the resources currently spent on dementia services, so those services are cost-effective and make a positive difference to people’s lives.

"We urge the Council to consider alternative, realistic, viable and sustainable proposals currently being developed before it considers the closure of existing services, which is based upon a flawed and incomplete report, because in these difficult times, you must do your best for the people of the London Borough of Hounslow."

Alzheimer’s Society has pointed out major inconsistencies in the consultation process, as well as concerns that ‘personalisation’ is being used to justify the closure without sufficient evidence to substantiate this claim.

The Chiswick Day Care Centre was given a brief reprieve after the Social Care Consultation item was withdrawn from Borough Council meeting's agenda last week.

Although the agenda was set some time ago, the full Equality Impact Assessments relating to the Chiswick Centre and others in the Borough were not published until the evening before the meeting, Monday 18th July, therefore members were not given enough time to consider them.

A spokesperson for Hounslow Council said: "It is essential that all members should have the opportunity to consider all of the relevant documentation in relation to this important matter. The Adult Social Care Consultation Outcome Report was therefore be withdrawn from the agenda and will be presented to a subsequent meeting of the Borough Council."

It is thought the future of Chiswick Day Care Centre will be decided in September.

Alzheimer's Society say they will continue to monitor the situation and will consider taking further action if this is required.

July 25, 2011