CAMPAIGNERS have been thrown a lifeline in their bid to keep a dementia day care service in the north of the Portsmouth.
The under-threat Patey Day Centre in Cosham could be transferred to a room within a new care home that is due to open next year at East Lodge Park in Farlington.
Portsmouth City Council is considering the move as it seeks to find another site for the Patey centre, part of a residential building that is due to be pulled down in order to make way for the new 72-bed care facility.
Maureen Levesque, whose husband Mick values the support he gets from the centre, said the news was a major breakthrough and came as a surprise since campaigners were originally told that moving into the new care home was not an option.
‘That’s a turn up for the books,’ she said.
‘This is great news and it is a major breakthrough because we want a day care service to be kept in the north of the city.’
Councillor Leo Madden, Lib Dem cabinet member for health and social care, said he wanted to explore the new option as it wouldn’t have an effect on planning regulations and could be affordable.
He said options being explored include the council running the service itself from the care home or letting a charity lease out a space and take responsibility.
Ellie Savidge, who takes her mum Elaine Taylor to the Patey Centre, said: ‘It’s brilliant news that East Lodge Park could be a possible opportunity.
‘This is something we have been pushing for a long time.’
Cllr Donna Jones, Conservative group leader and prospective new leader of the city council, said: ‘I’m very supportive of this as I brought it up at a meeting I arranged earlier this year.
‘I’m passionate about retaining elderly care in the north of the city.’
Current council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: ‘At last this is the possible long-term solution on the mainland. I’m pleased because we have been trying to find a solution.’
If it turns out Patey patients can’t be moved somewhere nearby, then the council’s original solution of sending them to The Royal Albert Centre, a larger daycare service in the middle of Portsmouth, will go ahead instead. The idea was put forward to help save the council money, but a public backlash has put the brakes on that happening so far.