Earlier today, despite being told in a roundabout way that I would not be welcome by the Council’s Director of Adult Social Services and the Chief Executive I attended the ‘Market Place’ event organised by the Council at the Floral Pavilion that was offering alternative respite provision to that being provided at Girtrell Court which this callous uncaring Labour Council want to close.
It’s clear from listening to carers and their families that the alternatives on offer are not suitable for the users of Girtrell Court.
One provider was offering breaks in the Kielder Forest, very nice, however carers have to pay the costs of getting their loved ones there and that can be both difficult and expensive when you are having to transport people in wheelchairs. Others were offering holiday breaks in Wales, again very nice but not really practical. The costs of one alternative provider for 5 days respite is £1279, but you can get 7 days in Girtrell Court for £1400. You do the math. There is no financial saving in closing Girtrell Court as the Cabinet Member would try to have people believe.
Talking to alternative providers they told me that they were considering commissioning dedicated respite facilities, one said with 22 beds. Strange when you consider that Girtrell Court already has 20 beds. Hey If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. Girtrell Court is not broken.
Finally for now it appears that as well as the Council paying for the hire of the Floral Pavilion they were also paying for stakeholders displaying alternative provision to have vouchers for refreshments. Meanwhile, users of Girtrell Court had to pay for their own refreshments. Wirral Labour Council simply has the wrong priorities!