Leaked document suggests ‘done deal’ in closure row

Warwick House remaining open is not among the options
Warwick House remaining open is not among the options

A leaked document sent to council staff suggests the closure of Warwick House in Seaford is ‘a done deal’, as bosses are accused of ‘abandoning’ the elderly and disabled.

The document sent by Keith Hinkley, director of adult social care and health for East Sussex County Council, details the areas where £10 million of savings will be made across Adult Social Care.

According to the document, only three proposals are being considered by the council for the future of the day centres which provide ‘vital care’ for the elderly and disabled.

A source who works for the council and has asked to remain anonymous said they were ‘shocked’ to see that none of the options include keeping Warwick House open, despite the 10-week consultation process which encourages the public to share alternative cost-saving ideas.

Mr Hinkley’s email attachment to staff outlined the following:

Option one involves two phases, to provide all services from the Milton Grange site in Eastbourne, which will mean the closure of Warwick House and Firwood House and the transfer of services to Milton Grange.

Milton Grange will then be closed when phase two moves all service provision from there to a site at a [unspecified] hospital.

Option two suggests closing all services and re-providing them in the independent sector.

Option three is to close all services and move bed service provision directly to a site at the hospital and re-provide day services in the independent sector.

Peter Robinson, 56, from Denton, attended a meeting at Warwick House held by Audrey Franks, operations manager for adult social care at the county council.

Mr Robinson’s 86-year-old mother, who suffers with dementia, attends three days a week. He said: “We feel abandoned, the council are failing in their duty of care.

“I got the feeling at the meeting that the council have already made their minds up, this process is being done, but it’s a done deal.

“They wouldn’t listen to our ideas, just kept repeating the same thing over and over.

“The council are putting an end to some of these people. Warwick House sent them a life line, and they are about to cut the rope.”

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said: “These options are not set in stone and no decision has been made. The purpose of the consultation is to help us understand where savings can be made within the service and the impact these may have.

“It is important that as many people as possible share their views, to enable the council to make an informed decision about the future of day services for older people across East Sussex.”