Anger over day care centre closure plans

Orion Centre Hailsham
Orion Centre Hailsham
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The son of a dementia sufferer who regularly uses a day care centre in Hailsham earmarked for closure has said the people behind the decision to shut its doors have badly let down the older people of East Sussex.

Len Fisher spoke out after hearing that plans to close The Orion Centre as part of a cost-cutting exercise had been approved by East Sussex County Council’s cabinet following a review and public consultation earlier this year. His 90-year-old mother Edith Fisher from Eastbourne attends the centre four times a week. In a letter to Councillor Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council (ESCC) lead member for adult social care, Seaford resident Mr Fisher wrote, ‘Sadly I believe you and your cabinet colleagues have badly let down the older people of East Sussex, in particular the frail, elderly and mentally challenged users of ALL of the day centres, but specifically The Orion Centre’.

Alison Pratley, whose dementia sufferer mum Irene Pratley also uses the centre, said the news was a ‘major concern’.

Keith Hinkley, ESCC director of adult social care and health, said the centre would not close until alternative provision was available, adding, “We do understand the strength of feeling about the Orion Centre but we have no choice but to make changes to ensure we provide the best care we possibly can and have a system that is sustainable for the future.”