Families’ anger as Portsmouth care home faces closure

St James' Hospital, in Milton, has mental health services run by Solent NHS Trust.
 Picture: Sarah Standing (150538-1024)

CQC says mental health is at ‘crossroads’ while Portsmouth provider is adapting services

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THE decision to close a care home and day care centre has been met with anger from the families of those who use it.

Corben Lodge, in Moorings Way, Milton, has 13 beds, of which nine are used by long-term residents with physical disabilities.

Portsmouth City Council, which runs the service, said it has decided to close the facility and instead help users live more independently and be cared for at home.

But family members of residents say the decision is wrong and will not help their relatives as they are used to that care.

Derek Baker, 63, of Cosham, goes to visit his sister Jane, 53, who has physical disabilities, and has lived at the lodge for several years.

He said: ‘I’m disappointed this decision has been made.

‘We have been told by the council that this is not a cost-cutting exercise, but about independent living. It seems it is geared towards younger people and not the people who are staying in there now.

‘The lodge is like a family for Jane, and I don’t understand the logic.’

And Robert James, 71, of Mayles Road, in Milton, also shares these concerns.

His sister Angela has been living in the lodge for more than 30 years. He said: ‘Angela has been in a wheelchair all her life and Corben Lodge is her home.

‘The lodge was started by parents who had disabled children and was built into a place for them to rest and be with others in a similar situation.

‘That’s why I think this is the wrong decision.’

The lodge, which also has a day care facility in it called the Vanguard Centre, is due to close in February 2016, so there is enough time to move current residents and visitors.

Justin Wallace-Cook, assistant head of adult social services, said: ‘When we held one-on-one interviews and focus group sessions, a lot said they would like to try independent living.

‘They would still have someone to help them around the house, and they would still meet in the community with other people and have help shopping.’