BUDGET CUTS: Dementia sufferer's vital lifelines will be axed as part of Northamptonshire cuts

Edward Groves.
Edward Groves.

The daughter of a dementia sufferer whose vital memory cafe and day centre are set to be scrapped has labelled the county council cut as "disgusting."

Former painter and decorator Edward Groves began attending the Drayton Centre for dementia and Alzheimer's in Kingsthorpe shortly after being hit by a car in July 2015.

The Rectory Farm man had already started to show signs of vascular dementia, but went rapidly downhill after the collision and now needs round-the-clock care.

Now the 82-year-old's two vital lifelines - both the Drayton Centre and a twice-weekly memory cafe he attends to give his wife a chance to sleep - are set to be axed as part of Northamptonshire County Council's budget proposals today.

His daughter, Stephane De Vally, 50, of Abington, believes, if the cuts are ratified today, she will have to reduce her hours in the Northamptonshire Police control room to look after her father.

She said: "It's disgusting - the borough council are trying to make Northampton dementia-friendly.

"Yet the county council are cutting funding left, right and centre."

A protest, led by Save Northants Services, was held outside of County Hall yesterday, the second year in a row protesters have raised placards outside the authority's chamber ahead of the annual budget setting meeting.

This year the council is looking to cut £58 million from its budget, a slight roll back on the originally projected £64 million.

Currently eight memory cafes and three activity groups are run by the Alzheimer's Society as part of a contract it has held with the council for the past six years. From March, that funding will stop and the society does not know whether it will be able to continue them using other funding streams.

Mr Groves is, like other state-funded attendees of the Drayton Centre, being offered a place at nearby Turn Furlong, run by Shaw Healthcare.

But, Mrs De Vally believes the services on offer there simply are not appropriate for her father's needs. She also says trial attendances at Turn Furlong have been unsettling for her dad.

Now she says, she simply does not know what to do.

"If you leave a room and he wakes up, he is always out looking for people. We can be up two to three times in the night," said Mrs De Vally.

"The day centre lets my mum sleep for a few hours.

"I will almost certainly have to cut down my hours so I can support my dad."

A spokesman for Shaw healthcare said: “We look forward to welcoming any new visitors to Turn Furlong.

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

"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."

A Northamptonshire County Council, spokeswoman, said: “We have a short-term agreement with the Alzheimer’s Society to run dementia cafes which is due to come to an end on 31st March.

“The county council is continuing to support people with dementia through a range of specialist residential placements, domiciliary care, respite, and information and advice services.

“The Alzheimer’s Society may choose to continue to run the cafes with financial support from other sources or client contributions - where those individuals who attend the cafes are financially supported by the county council and have been assessed as having unmet eligible needs, they can choose to use their direct payments to pay to attend.”