Concerns over proposed cuts at Portsmouth dementia day centre

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STAFF could lose their jobs at a dementia day care centre in Portsmouth.

And workers fear the proposal at the Royal Albert facility in Landport will place more strain on carers looking after the most vulnerable.

When the question has been put to the council, “what if the cook is off sick and who will come in to cover them?” the answer has been, take a member of staff off the floor and get someone in from an agency.

Royal Albert Day Centre worker

One employee said one chef could be left to provide meals at the centre, which can take up to 60 people at a time.

He is concerned cuts are being unfairly placed on Royal Albert and that the Patey Day Centre in Cosham is being protected for ‘political reasons’.

The council has declined to address the claim, but says staff at Royal Albert are being consulted over how savings can be made.

Speaking to The News, the Royal Albert worker said: ‘I am angry at the treatment of the clients and the staff.

‘When the question has been put to the council, “what if the cook is off sick and who will come in to cover them?” the answer has been, “take a member of staff off the floor and get someone in from an agency”. Yet that would cost more than the staff we have already got, which is just laughable.

‘We haven’t got the care staff to go into the kitchen because there have already been cuts in the number of carers. There’s an accident waiting to happen.

He added: ‘The council keeps changing the goalposts.

‘One minute the centre is for people with high needs, then dementia, now when you go in there, it’s like a nursing home, and that’s not what the staff signed up for.’

Portsmouth Lib Dem leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, hopes the council can look at other ways of making savings and link up with Brunel Court – which Royal Albert is part of – to provide meals.

Justin Wallace-Cook, the council’s assistant director of adult social care, said: ‘We are currently in consultation with staff about Royal Albert Day Centre and welcome ideas on how we can meet our budget savings.

‘No final decision has been made, this is an opportunity for staff to contribute suggestions, which we can investigate further.’

‘No decision will affect the service users of the centre.’

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