Mansfield’s Red Oaks day centre set for revamp

NMAC11-1622-1''Red Oaks Sign
NMAC11-1622-1''Red Oaks Sign
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A MANSFIELD day care centre is among the buildings expected to get part of a £4m upgrade plan while nine other county centres are facing the axe.

The Red Oaks Day Centre, on Southwell Road West, has survived a day care overhaul by Nottinghamshire County Council designed to save £5m a year.

Yesterday it was announced the centre is due to get a slice of a £4m funding pot for upgrades designed to create 13 multi-purpose centres.

This will turn it into a ‘shared use’ facility designed to fill gaps opened by the closure of the nine other centres to save money.

Those earmarked to close include mental health base the Rokerfield Centre, Sutton, a move which campaigners and users had already warned would be a ‘false economy’.

Coun Kevin Rostance, cabinet member for adult social care and health: said: “If we don’t make these savings from some areas we are faced with making them in other areas.

“We’ve only got so much money to spend.”

The authority’s day care service centres provide support for the elderly, people with mental health problems and those with learning disabilities.

The council has now completed a consultation on the overhaul, and will make a decision on the final plans on 30th June.

Added Coun Rostance: “Although services will be provided in fewer buildings we believe both the services and the buildings will be better.

“We’re entering a new era in social care where increasing demand and limited resources will mean all councils have to do what they can to support more people to live independently, increasingly using personal budgets to give people the opportunity to control their own care.”

He added that on approval the sites will shut over a two-year time frame with staff numbers also reduced accordingly.

Mansfield’s Dallas Street Day Care Centre has already shut some six months ago with services moved to a revamped Willow Wood, on Sheepwash Lane, Sutton, as a pilot project for the overhaul.

Joyce Bosnjak, county councillor for Mansfield North, said she understood Dallas Street users had been paying extra to get to Willow Wood without help from the council.

“People are paying twice as much to get there and it’s costing them more in terms of food,” she said.

“Surely what we need in terms of care is a more individual approach, instead of closing smaller centres in favour of bigger ones.

“No matter how they (the council) dress this up, elderly and vulnerable people are still suffering as a result.”

The plans include keeping the new-look day services open 50 weeks of the year, with a break over Christmas and New Year.

Day services for elderly people attached to care homes are also being moved to the multi-purpose centres by September.

In Ashfield, local politicians hit out at the proposal to shut five day care centres in the district, including Rokerfield and Selston Day Care Centre.

District councillor Gail Turner branded the plan ‘cruel and evil’.