NHS managers have described the choice they have to make on a Northampton respite centre’s future as ‘horrendous’.
The comments came at a public consultation meeting at NHS Nene’s Moulton Park base, which was about respite care for people with neuro-degenerative illnesses such as motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Speaking about the possibility of closing Favell House, a respite and day centre in Spinney Hill, in order to provide a break for everybody in Northamptonshire with a neuro-degenerative illness, project lead Nick Willmore said: “This is the sort of debate that is horrendous for people in the NHS and clinicians.”
The meeting heard that thousands of patients in the county needed respite care but Favell House has only 10 beds and provides stays mainly for people from Northampton.
NHS Nene, which is led by GPs, proposes to give patients their own personal budgets that they can spend on any respite care they choose, including private care homes.
However, carers and patients at the public meeting said the best care was already being provided at Favell House, which should be replicated.
Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Kingsthorpe, Lib Dem) said: “People at Favell House are trusted. Carers have enough to worry about without all this change and wondering whether the level of care is good enough for their family member.
“Losing Favell House to them is losing a lifeline.”
Dr Darin Seiger, of NHS Nene, said: “Our challenge is to provide the level of Favell House care at all other sites.”