Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Closure plan for Sheffield dementia centres

Two of Sheffield's three dementia support centres may be closed.

Councillors will be asked to consider closing the Norbury Centre in Fir Vale and Bole Hill View in Crookes.

Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, which runs the centres, and the city council, which funds them, said the plan would save £835,000.

The money will be used to improve the remaining centre, Hurlfield View at Arbour, and provide more services to people at home.

The proposal follows a consultation period, during which people with dementia and their carers were asked to give feedback on the services they received and how they could be improved.

'Underused' buildings

About 6,000 people in Sheffield are thought to have the condition.

Joan Wingfield's husband Gene, 82, has Alzheimer's and uses the Norbury Centre four days a week.

"He really loves it, he really enjoys it, and he's made loads of friends... it gives me a bit of time to get out and do what I want to do," she said.

She added she was concerned about the proposals.

"(Hurlfield View) is only a small place, quite close to us, and if Norbury closes there's all the others that go to Norbury as well, there just won't be room for them."

Councillor Mary Lea, the council's cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said: "We do need to save money and find more innovative ways in delivering services that get it right for those people we support.

"Keeping buildings open that are underused or do not meet the changing needs of local people with dementia is not a good use of ever-decreasing funding."

The three centres offer support to people who live at home, through day care and occasional respite care.

Under the proposals, which will be discussed by the council's cabinet on 31 October, the Norbury Centre would be closed by next March and Bole Hill View would shut by March 2014.

Hurlfield View centre would be expanded and remodelled with extra beds.

Judith Gregory, regional manager of the Alzheimer's Society in South Yorkshire, said: "The proposed timescales for change are very quick, and while there are a lot of benefits in what the council has concluded and the way they have involved people so far in saying what they might like to see, that then needs translating into proposals for the longer term that don't affect people badly.

"People like Joan and Gene need good quality support, and they need choices about what kind of good quality support they receive."

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