Severely disabled man to be 'left without care' from Solihull Council day centre closure - The Solihull Observer

Severely disabled man to be 'left without care' from Solihull Council day centre closure

Solihull Editorial 25th Apr, 2019 Updated: 25th Apr, 2019   0

THE FAMILY of a man with complex special needs says he has been left in the lurch ‘at crisis point’ by Solihull Council – after not being told about the closure of his day centre.

A Solihull mum has accused the council of failing in its duty to find alternative provision for her son Jamie (not his real name), 21, who has autism and epilepsy.

The closure of Bacon’s End specialist day centre at the end of this month would leave Jamie and his care team without a place to go to provide his family with respite.

An annex at the centre is used for Jamie every day apart from Wednesday, which prevented him from having to be sent to a care home.

The council has ‘unusually’ provided Jamie with the annex because of his complex needs and the fact he is higher risk than other users with very challenging behaviour, his mother says.

She says many who used the normal day centres had different requirements than her son and were much older.

He has been using the annex for 18 months since he finished school.

She says she is aware it was always a temporary measure and that Bacon’s End could close.

But she insists she was always advised she would be given an alternative.

In an email, council officer for strategic commissioning Michael Glynn told Jamie’s mum: “There are no alternatives that meet your requirements within the new plans for day opportunities for people who attended Bacon’s End.

“Jamie’s social worker continues to work on finding an alternative, and I am assisting her in this search.

“As yet, this hasn’t been successful, but we are investigating a range of options.

“The arrangement made to offer your son access to a room as a place to get away and have day time activities is a very unusual one for us, and I hadn’t understood this.

“This arrangement was made after consultation about the future of Bacon’s End Centre and subsequent decision to close the centre, and as such the issue of consultation isn’t directly applicable.”

Jamie’s mum said: “We never even had a letter to say it was officially closing, that we had to take his belongings out of there.

“Rather than Jamie being discarded like a piece of furniture, I would like to have been approached and been part of the process.

“I have had nothing. I have had to battle with them and send them emails.

“The annex was a lifeline for Jamie and now we have been left at crisis point.

“He is one of the most complex young men in the borough and the council has failed in its duty of care.

“We’re scuppered. The impact on the family will be absolutely phenomenal.

“Jamie has been entirely overlooked as if he doesn’t exist.

“It would take six months for Jamie to transition to another centre – let alone six days.”

She says the reason the annex is so important to Jamie was because it gave him a place to ‘chill out’, with access to a sensory room and a washing facility.

Jamie’s mum and her husband have had to retire to continue to support their son.

The council commissions a care team to provide support to Jamie but his mum says it will be difficult for this care to continue without a space like the annex.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “As we have previously explained, Bacon’s End is an outdated building which is isolated from the community and is closing in the near future.

“In the meantime we are working with ‘Jamie’s’ family and health colleagues to find a way forward which delivers care that meets ‘Jamie’s’ needs. “

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Solihull Observer newspaper.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Solihull Observer.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.