Dementia centres threatened with closure as council seeks £800,000 cut

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Councillors are being asked to approve major changes in services for people with dementia in Sheffield that could see two specialist support centres shut.

Closing the Norbury Centre in Norwood and Bole Hill View in Crookes, which provide respite care and day services for people with dementia and their carers, could save £835,000. The sum would be used to expand the remaining Hurlfield View centre in Gleadless Common to a 20-bed unit and provide more services at home.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet, which funds the NHS-run centres, will next week consider a report recommending a formal consultation to examine how a wider range of services could be developed to provide more home care and allow the closure of Norbury by next March and Bole Hill View 12 months later.

The report said numbers of dementia patients were expected to grow by a third in the city from 6,100 in 2010 to 8,300 by 2025.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said: “Our vision is that people with dementia can be supported to live an active, independent, fulfilled life at home for longer, and the new approach will allow this by giving people with dementia greater choice in how they access support.

“People with complex needs have told us that they would like to access more services at home. At the same time we recognise that some people continue to want to access support at a resource centre.

“Keeping buildings open that are under used or do not meet the changing needs of local people with dementia is not a good use of ever-decreasing funding. With on-going severe cuts from Government, which cast a gloomy shadow over a range of services councils can provide, we have to plan for a future with less funding.”

Clive Clarke, of Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust, said: “We want to reassure people that no one will receive less support than they currently get, although they might get support in a different way, in an alternative location, such as community buildings or in their own homes.

“We want to improve care for people with dementia, not to reduce services or leave people without the support they need.”