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Dorothy Lucy Campaign pushes out closure for at least a year

March 15, 2016 9:50 AM
Anna Ralph and her father in-law John Hoggin with Cllr Clark holding the Dorothy Lucy petition

Anna Ralph and her father in-law John Hoggin with Cllr Clark holding the petition

In spite of a vigorous campaign by residents and the local Lib Dem County Councillor Brian Clark to save the Dorothy Lucy Centre in Maidstone, KCC's Adult Social Care Cabinet Committee recommended closing the centre at a meeting on Thursday in front of a crowded public area. However, residential care will be provided at the centre till August 2016 and dementia day care services will continue to at least March 2017, possibly longer.

Cllr Clark addressed the committee along with two members of the public, Marian Reader and Anna Ralph, who were invited after submitting a petition against closure last year, each making a case to keep the centre going based on the excellent service provided and lack of like for like services locally.

Cllr Clark questioned why KCC would make a decision to close Dorothy Lucy now, when they had been unsuccessful in procuring all of the services offered by the centre in the private sector. He said:

"KCC has had to extend Dementia Day care provision at Dorothy Lucy to at least March next year after finding no suitable alternative. We have questioned whether KCC would be able to find equivalent services locally and this decision gives the answer loud and clear, they cannot."

"Given the clear lack of current alternatives for dementia day care in South-East Maidstone, this is not the time to make the decision on closure. If KCC were to find private sector provision and it were to fail, we would have no fall back option.

"KCC should be deferring the decision until credible alternative services are available for the whole package of services offered Dorothy Lucy. Without these the centre should stay open."