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Proposal for the Balfour Centre to be considered

Date: 14/02/2012           Category: Social Care

A decision on the future of The Balfour Centre in Rochester has been delayed while officers give consideration to a new proposal from Medway Community Healthcare.

The proposal was made on Thursday 9 February, the day that consultation on changes to Adult Social Care services ended. Now council officers will need a period of time to explore the viability of this proposal, and then, if appropriate, consult with service uses and their families so that the outcome can be reported to cabinet.

The council began a consultation in mid-December regarding proposed changes to the adult social care services it provides, and has been hearing the views of service users, carers, their families, staff and other interested parties. The proposals include closing the Balfour Day Centre following a significant drop in the number of people using the facility as more Adult Social Care service users opt for personalised budgets.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Services Cllr David Brake said: “Throughout this consultation we’ve been very keen to hear the views from all parties, which has allowed this proposal to come forward. We now need time to consider very carefully this proposal from Medway Community Healthcare and check to see whether it’s a viable option for the people who use the Balfour Centre, for staff and for the council”.

Martin Riley, managing director, Medway Community Healthcare added:
“We are keen to work with Medway Council to look at the feasibility of supporting the ongoing work of the Balfour Centre.

“Before agreeing any long-term commitments we must first take a detailed look at the practical requirements needed to provide the service and ensure that the needs of local people will be met both now and into the future.”

Cabinet also agreed to outsource Robert Bean Lodge in Rochester and Platters Farm Lodge in Rainham, and to sell Nelson Court residential home in Chatham.

Council officers will now take these decisions forward and involve residents, families, carers and staff over the coming months.