Shake up on the cards for Hackney’s elderly day care services

The borough’s day care service for the elderly is facing a shake up, after the council’s cabinet rubberstamped a proposal to merge all four centres into one.

A review of the current set up concluded that the current service – which cost £4.6m in the last year - is not cost-effective because it entails running four separate buildings and staffing structures.

A report, Transforming Day Care Service in Adult Social Care was presented to the council’s selected cabinet of eight Labour councillors last week who gave the plans to redesign current day care services the go-ahead.

Now the four centres will be relocated to one specialist resource centre in Hackney by 2015, with designated spaces for people with dementia and those with profound and multiple disabilities or complex needs, subject to a suitable site being found.

The day service for people with dementia, currently based at Median Road, in Homerton is due to be relocated to the Marie Lloyd day centre in Queensbridge Road which the report says is better designed to meets the needs of people with dementia.

Day care services provided at Sam and Annie Cohen day centre in Northwold Road, Upper Clapton, and the Trowbridge Centre for people with learning disabilities in Hackney Wick, will be relocated to the new resource centre in 2015.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, cabinet member for health, social care and culture said he would work to ensure no change happens until everything is in place to ensure a smooth transition for service users.

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“These plans will mean change for some of our most vulnerable residents and I understand that this will cause anxiety,” he said.

“The new look service will give people more choice and more varied activities that people using the services and their carers will benefit from.”

This time last year 325 people were registered to use the four day centres, but figures have dropped to 259.

Julian Lloyd, the Alzheimer’s Society charity’s locality manager for North East London said the move would affect many of the families they work with.

“We were aware services were being reviewed in Hackney, but we weren’t aware of the cabinet meeting, obviously we would like quite a lot more information around the detail,” he said.

“We would want to know time scales, and the question we would have really is when that transition to the Marie Lloyd is going to take place.

He added: “We hope that the council will ensure that people with dementia are consulted on the shape this new service takes.”