Respite service in Chapel WILL close

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A vital respite service will close at the end of this month as Derbyshire County Council make cutbacks.

Last November the council announced the six short-term respite care beds at Ecclesfold Resource Centre, on Manchester Road, Chapel-en-le-Frith, would close.

Although it was meant to close at the end of March, the council was still trying to find suitable alternatives for users so it stayed open for another two months. However now these arrangements are in place, it will close.

Pensioner Ernie Goodwin, from Chapel, relies on the respite services so he can better care for his wife of 14 years who has Alzheimer’s.

The 75-year-old said: “Lynda was diagnosed two years ago and the last 12 months have been horrendous.

“I love my wife I really do, but I’m no spring chicken and caring for her all day every day is hard work and really takes it out of me.

“Now that it’s closing I don’t know what to do and my wife will have to go in a care home.

“It’s not what I want, but I can’t cope on my own.

“She goes to the centre for one week and in that time I know she is getting the care she needs and it is a chance for me to re-charge my batteries so I can be ready and refreshed to care for her again.

“I know so many people in the area rely on the service and it means so much to so many people - so many people will be affected by this closure and I worry that although new systems are in place they will not be as close.”

The closure is part of a wider five-year plan by the council to keep 18 of its residential care homes open and continue to invest in residential care, extra care and specialist care for older people.

The decision also included closing four council-run residential care homes in other parts of the county.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “Following the decision to close the six respite care beds at Ecclesfold last November the council has been working hard with local partnership agencies which provide services, the local community and people who use the service to identify suitable alternatives in the area.

“We delayed the closure of the beds while this work was carried out and we will now close the facility at the end of June.

“We believe we have fulfilled our pledge to find suitable alternatives, but will continue to liaise closely with people affected and listen to their concerns.

“Our locally-based social workers will continue to work with affected service users to find suitable alternatives that meet their needs.”