What will happen to us if day centres are axed?

Residents and service users of Fourways rehabilitation centre, care home and day centre, Tyldesley, are angry after Wigan Council propose to close the facility. Pictured outside the centre are Tina Alden, with residents Keren, Peter and David

Residents and service users of Fourways rehabilitation centre, care home and day centre, Tyldesley, are angry after Wigan Council propose to close the facility. Pictured outside the centre are Tina Alden, with residents Keren, Peter and David

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USERS of Wigan day centres which could close under new proposals are begging the council to reconsider.

As part of its adult social care review and to save costs, Wigan Council has opened consultation over its proposals to shut Heath Road centre, in Ashton; Fourways in Tyldesley; Heathside in Leigh and Ullswater in Lowton.

But some members of the four sites are concerned about what will happen to them if plans go head.

Tina Alden, 47, attends Fourways day centre, in Tyldesley, which is an assessment centre used to determine how the clients are improving and for rehabilitation.

She suffers from manic depression, epilepsy and fibromyalgia - a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body - and relies on the centre for respite.

She said: “I come here because it is the only place where I can get sanity.

“I live with my mum in Swinton and otherwise I am stuck upstairs on my own. The only time I get out is to go shopping or to the day centre,

“I come seven times a year, for a week or two at a time. Here, I get to meet people. I also play games and do crafts and I get help with reading and spelling.

“I don’t want to move and it is really stressing me out. I have epileptic fits sometimes but the staff here are lovely and know me. I know a lot of people here don’t want to move either.”

Under the proposals, all 406 service users across all sites will be allocated a support planner who will discuss with them their hobbies and see where they are best placed - whether it be another day centre, a community interest company, voluntary group or club.

They will also be allocated a personal budget to finance their placement.

Tina said she had received a letter about attending another day centre, but is still reluctant to move as she is happy at Fourways,

Coun Keith Cunliffe, portfolio holder for adults and social care, said that Fourways is currently under occupancy and that its assessment services could be improved elsewhere.

He said: “People go to Fourways for assessment and rehabilitation and then they go back to a suitable place of residence. But we are not sure that assessing someone out of their real environment is the best way.”

“Instead, it is better to see them at home, and therefore a need for an assessment centre is decreased, so we can plough our resources elsewhere to benefit the users,”