FAVELL House, a Northampton day centre for people with multiple sclerosis, will not close, NHS bosses have said, after they revealed funding will not be removed until a charitable solution is found.
The Chron reported on Monday that managers at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust had again extended the life of the Kettering Road centre until March after talks with campaigners.
But they have now said the reprieve will be extended indefinitely as they seek to find a charity or business interested in contributing to running the centre, with Favell House users and their carers having control. The NHS stress there is still much to be sorted out, but users have said they are encouraged by the development.
Anne Chapman, who uses the centre said: “I’m very pleased but I can’t wait for this to be signed and sealed so we can start thinking about how to raise future funds. The long-term respite part of Favell House is also under review and I’ve said in the past I could only just live without it.”
Campaigners on behalf of Favell House, in Kettering Road, have been fighting to keep its day centre open after more than 60 people with multiple sclerosis and other conditions were sent a letter saying it would close in November.
Pressure by carers, who feared never being able to get a regular break from their 24-hour duties looking after loved ones, resulted in a stay of execution until January.
But after the last of two meetings between health bosses and carers and patients on Friday, the NHS said it would now ensure the centre stays open.
Angela Hillery, from the Healthcare Trust, said: “Hopefully the user-led model we’re proposing for Favell House can be the springboard for other services, where people using them are involved in how they are run.”
The move has been welcomed by the MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis, who has been fighting to save Favell House.
He said: “This is fantastic news. I was always determined that such a vital amenity should not close.”