Relatives of elderly people who attend a Northampton day centre under threat of closure fear the decision has already been made to shut its doors - though the county council claims it’s not a done deal yet.
Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) is currently proposing the closure of two day services that provide specialist care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia: the Drayton Centre in Kingsthorpe and Stephenson Court in Kilsby.
The move would save £400,000 though a final decision on both is not due to be made until the authority’s next cabinet meeting on December 13.
A consultation is currently being held via the council’s website.
However relatives of those who attend the Drayton Centre fear their protests will make little difference.
Rachela Amalfitano, whose 83-year-old mother has been at the Drayton Centre for nearly three years, said: “We had no idea they were proposing this.”
“When you ask them why they are looking at closing it they say there are ‘a certain amount of places that aren’t being used’, but I don’t understand how they are not able to fill the places.
“We would be extremely disappointed, it’s a very personal, individual care you get there.”
Miss Amalfitano said her mother would find the move “very traumatic.”
She said: “People with Alzheimer’s, a change really means a lot for them.
“My mum really likes one particular carer, and she will lose that.”
Paul Crofts of Save Northants Services, which is helping with a campaign to save the centre, said there are likely to be several speakers at the next cabinet meeting in December.
He said: “We were approached by some of the relatives that use the service.
“The people have told us the Drayton Centre has big rooms, it has high quality, good caring staff and they have different things going on in each room.
“They just feel this is a fait accompli.”
A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said this was not the case.
“A final decision about the Drayton Centre and Stephenson Court is still to be made by cabinet next month and all feedback received during the public consultation will be taken into account as part of that decision-making process,” he said.
“As part of the consultation, we have talked to the current users and their families and carers about what alternative provision could be offered, but until the cabinet has made its decision, these details are still to be confirmed.
“The council has a range of providers of day care service and we need to use these as effectively as possible to meet the needs of our service users, while ensuring value for money. Whatever the outcome of this consultation, we will ensure that users are properly assessed and their needs met effectively.”