Protest planned over Northampton day centre funding cut

The Drayton Centre in Kingsthorpe.

The Drayton Centre in Kingsthorpe.

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Families whose elderly relatives' day care centre funding was cut are set to stage a protest in Northampton next week.

Northamptonshire County Council withdrew its funding to allow elderly people to visit Kingsthorpe's Drayton Centre in December a part of its £67 million budget-cutting proposals.

Cabinet member for adult social care, Councillor Bill Parker, (Con, ) said the centre was only 54 per cent occupied and assured worried attendees the same services could be offered at nearby care home Turn Furlong.

But campaigners against the move believe Turn Furlong will not offer the same specialist activities for Alzheimer's sufferers and believe their concerns have still not been addressed. A protest is now planned outside County Hall to coincide with the authority's budget setting meeting.

Protest organiser, Paul Crofts of Save Northants Services, said: "We were promised an investigation by the head of adult social services at the last cabinet meeting - but since then they have supplied us with absolutely nothing.

While Turn Furlong is a "good" rated specialist care facility, it does not specialise in dementia and Alzheimer's like the Drayton Centre.

A spokesman for Shaw Healthcare, however, said it is "looking forward to welcoming new visitors."

"We’re confident that they will feel as positive as those who have used our service once they’ve received a warm welcome," he said.

"Regular service users of Turn Furlong and their family members have been kind enough to leave us positive reviews on independent websites about the good care they’ve received and industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission, issued Turn Furlong a ‘Good’ rating following its January 2017 inspection.

"We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality care and we have been recognised for that."

Northamptonshire County Council on the other hand, says the move to withdraw funding for users of the Drayton Centre Stephenson's Court in Kilsby will save £400,000 a year.

A spokesman said: “We listened carefully to the feedback we’ve received from family members and carers, and are taking their concerns very seriously. We are working closely with the provider Shaw as we consider their feedback and will ensure any alternative provision is fully meets the needs of the service users affected before their transition.”

The protest is set to take place outside County Hall at 1.30 pm on Tuesday, February 14.