Jobs put at risk as respite care centres close

A new building is under construction, Coppull Lane, Swinley, Wigan

A new building is under construction, Coppull Lane, Swinley, Wigan

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Two borough respite care centres will be closed and replaced with a new purpose built facility

A redesign of specialist care provision will see facilities in Leigh and Golborne shut with potential savings of more than £200k as the town hall looks to slash £60m from its budget by 2019.

Construction has already started on a new respite care centre in Swinley although the changeover to the new system has placed 19 jobs at risk, council documents reveal.

One centre, on Church Street, Golborne will be sold, the other, on Green Lane, Leigh, will be handed to a housing association.

The plans were approved by cabinet members last week and will go before the full council chamber next month.

A report prepared for the cabinet reveals the authority estimates the changes will save £120k revenue savings and a potential £95k through the sale of one of the care centres.

After a review of its provision, council officers found the Church Street site to be “not fit for purpose to meet the needs of people with complex needs.”

And the Green Lane centre “is situated in an isolated location with limited access to local amenities.”

Whereas the new facility at Coppull Lane, Swinley, will deliver “fit for purpose buildings in the right location for easy access to community facilities.”

It will provide two five bedded apartments.

The report adds: “Although there appears to be a significant shift away from traditional respite services with a reliance on building based support.

“We fully recognise that for some service users and their families this overnight support provided in a safe environment by caring compassionate staff is a crucial to maintaining family

support.”

And adds that officers have identified that 28 current service users may not qualify for the new service and will be therefore offered alternative respite provision in the community, such as the council’s Shared Lives scheme.

It concludes: “We recognise that redesign of services can create anxiety and worry and we have tried hard to minimise this as much as possible through good communication, ongoing support and an effective consultation process.

“The views and feedback gathered throughout the consultation have been considered thoroughly.

“The consultation process has been robust and has had a meaningful impact on the recommendations.”