Anger over closure of Rugby care centre

Admirals Court, a respite centre in Rugby, due to close.
Admirals Court, a respite centre in Rugby, due to close.

The parents of a disabled girl are devastated at the proposed loss of a centre in Rugby that has been their “lifeline”.

They said there has been little consultation on whether Admirals Court should stay open.

The girl’s mother, who wishes to remain anyonymous, said: “This service has been a lifeline for us.”

Admirals Court, off Nelson Way, offers short residential breaks, giving respite to carers of people with learning disabilities. The five-bed facility currently serves 20 people, 14 of whom live in Rugby, and is run by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

The woman added: “At first we were told there would be a public consultation early in 2014, but the closure now appears to have been a foregone conclusion since the outset.”

She said there is an alternative centre at Bramcote, near Nuneaton, which does have better facilities.

But she said the distance is too far and it’s on the site of an old isolation hospital with no transport links.

“At a time when integration is said to be the keyword this is a backward step,” added the mother.

“The facilities at Admirals Court should not be assessed on the state of the building but by the skills and dedication of its staff.”

She said she is unable to see how profoundly disabled people will be given the same level of respect. The mother added: “How do the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust propose to give the same level of respite to current users of both centres when only four rooms are available at Bramcote for profoundly disabled users? There have been arranged meetings with clients and carers, but it has to be asked what purpose can this now serve?

“Staff, users, and carers once again feel isolated and powerless.”

Kevin O’Leary from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said: “We are currently proposing to invest in the specialist service provided at Ashby House in Bramcote, Nuneaton. We believe this will ensure the best service in the future for people in Warwickshire with a learning disability and who need respite care. We are sorry the mother of this user of the service feels that she has not been consulted. We have offered to meet face to face with every family affected to explain what we propose to do. We have met with most of the families affected, and an engagement plan has been published by Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, who are leading a public engagement process on this issue.”