Adult day centres to be axed

Durham County Hall.
Durham County Hall.

Councillors have agreed to close 12 day centres across County Durham.

Changes to council-run adult day services in County Durham have been agreed today and the Bracken Hill Centre in Peterlee is set to be closed.

Members of Durham County Council’s Cabinet rubber stamped the reorganisation of services that will see the dozen centres close by September this year.

Peterlee Pathways is one of five centres which will continue to provide specialist day services in the county to people with complex needs.

The authority said all people using the centres set for closure will be supported in finding alternative provision to meet their needs in the independent and voluntary sector and all people who are assessed as needing a service will continue to receive one and any changes will be carefully planned.

The decision was made in response to significant changes to the way in which people choose day services, which has led to a drop in demand for traditional council-run centres, as well as the need to make £1.59m savings during 2016/17.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels, cabinet member for adult and health services at Durham County Council, said: “This was not an easy decision to make and we recognise that it will be

disappointing for many of those affected.

“However, we must respond to the changing demand for these services as well as the financial pressures we face and therefore we must make these changes.

“Many people are already choosing alternative care services in the community and voluntary sector – particularly as a result of national changes such as the introduction of

Direct Payments, which enables people to make their own choices about where and how to get support.

“Our staff are very experienced in helping people to make the right choices for their needs and in supporting people through the move to a new service.

“We will continue to work with people to understand their needs and any concerns they have so that we can support them through any changes.”