A Government minister has agreed to meet Sheffield MP Louise Haigh over plans to close the city's last specialist dementia respite centre.
Sheffield Council announced Hurlfield View will close by March 2017 after NHS bosses said they could no longer carry out the services for next year due to a ‘more and more challenging’ financial situation.
Heeley MP Loiuse Haigh asked if the Government would carry out a public enquiry into the national social care funding crisis and raised the issue of the impending closure in the House of Commons.
Hurlfield View provides emergency admissions, carer respite and day care places for people with a range of dementia conditions.
More than 5,000 people have signed a petition to keep it open.
One Sheffield woman who cares for her 62-year-old husband told The Star the centre was a 'life-line' and now has 'nowhere to turn' in terms of respite care.
Another woman said: "My Nan came here for daytime respite care. Without Hurlfield View, my Grandad, quite simply, would not have coped."
Sheffield Council has taken the decision to move to its longer-term strategy for dementia care in the community and away from centres earlier than planned.
But Ms Haigh said dementia patients with complex needs 'cannot be cared for in the community'.
Addressing the health minister in Parliament, Ms Haigh said: “Sheffield is about to lose its last emergency respite care for patients with complex needs. These patients cannot be cared for in the community and people desperately do not want to see it go. Sheffield already has the second largest Better Care Fund in the country. If today is not the day for the Minister to issue a Royal Commission, when will the Minister act?”
Health minister David Mowat replied: “I’m not aware of the specific issue she raised in terms of the respite care service in Sheffield that is on the point of closure. I would be happy to discuss that with her so we understand it better but I repeat today is not the day that I’m going to announce a Royal Commission into funding.”
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, who ran the service, said they would try to arrange ‘alternative employment’ for 60 members of staff.
Sheffield Council has previously said they are confident there is enough provision in the community.
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