CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save an adult respite care home are cautiously celebrating news that it will be replaced.
Croft House in Fareham had been earmarked for closure by Hampshire County Council as part of a bid to save £1.7 million a year, with its users having to travel to a home in Hayling Island instead.
But in papers published ahead of a meeting to decide its fate, new recommendations suggest that although Croft House will still close, the council will now look to replace it with a six-bed home in either Fareham or Gosport.
A public meeting will be held this evening from 7pm at the Methodist Church Hall in Kings Road, Fareham to discuss the proposals.
Alistair Iverson started the Who Cares? We Care campaign in response to the original proposals.
Along with his wife, they care for his brother Graeme, 51, who has Down’s Syndrome and is a regular user of the 12-bed home on Redlands Lane.
Mr Iverson, 53, said: ‘I don’t want to prejudge what others think but I’m a pragmatic person, and I will be pretty pleased if this is the outcome.
‘I think the most important thing about this is maintaining a service for the local community.
‘I am a bit concerned about the reduction of beds, but if these six beds are solely available for the respite care, and not emergency use, as they are often are now, then theoretically, it should be alright.
‘There definitely does seem to have been a change in attitude from the council in the last four or five weeks.
‘We have now got some firm proposals to talk about.
The new unit will also have to accommodate users from the council’s planned closure of Highfield House in Eastleigh.
Mr Iverson added: ‘At this early stage we would raise concerns as to whether six beds are enough, particularly as the Eastleigh area will now also be using it.’
‘Once carers have had a chance to discuss the proposals we will put forward our views to the county council, as we look to ensure, not only the continuation of, but also the improvement of local services for family carers and adults with learning disabilities.’
The original recommendations saw the council intending to cut its number of respite care homes from nine to five.
In the News region, a facility in West Street, Havant, will also remain as a crisis service.
Councillor Felicity Hindson, who is in charge of adult social care matters, will make her decision on Monday.
For more information go to whocareswecare.org.uk.