DETERMINED campaigners will make a last-ditch attempt tonight to save the Patey Day Centre in Portsmouth.
Crunch talks will be held at St Peter and St Paul Church, Wymering, to see whether the decision to merge the Cosham service with a larger one in the middle of Portsmouth can be overturned.
It comes as dozens of families stress the need for the facility, which cares for 31 dementia and Alzheimer’s patients a week, to stay because it is their lifeline.
As reported, Portsmouth City Council hopes to save £100,000 by moving its services to the Royal Albert Day Centre, in Landport, which takes up to 66 clients each day.
Beryl King, 84, whose husband Harold, 91, has been a Patey user for two years, said the move could be too overwhelming for him. ‘It’s terrible,’ he said.
‘I would be sorry to see the clients moved somewhere else and we will have to see what happens. I think 91 is some age.’
Maureen Levesque said letting her husband Mick go to The Royal Albert Day Centre was a ‘no-go’.
‘Mick has been in there – it’s a big place,’ she said. ‘He doesn’t like noise and crowds. A lot of people there need more support and they are more disabled.’
Ellie Savidge has set up an online petition which has attracted more than 3,600 signatures.
Her mum Elaine Taylor, 80 – pictured on page one – uses the Patey Centre,
She along with Cllr John Ferrett, leader of the Labour group, and Cllr Donna Jones, leader of the Conservative group, will hold private talks with Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the city council.
Mrs Savidge said: ‘I’m hoping we will get some really positive ideas about alternative solutions. People have been approaching me in the street saying they want to support us.
‘A lot of people are angry about the council proposing this closure.’
He said the move, which will come into effect from the autumn, is happening before the closure of Edinburgh House – a residential care home on the same site. The service, along with Hilsea Lodge, is being replaced with a 72-bed residential development at East Lodge Park, in Farlington.
Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the decision to close the Patey Centre had already been made and professionals have said clients will still get the same level of care elsewhere.
‘The decision has already been made,’ he said. ‘We made the decision to move it to The Royal Albert Day Centre some time ago because the building Edinburgh House is going.
‘It means we save £100,000, which means we don’t have to cut £100,000 from anywhere else in social services.
‘The same clients will be getting the same service, but in a different place.’