Maria Caulfield MP has praised a ‘brave whistleblower’ and demanded to know why the public was not told a new multi-million pound day centre for the elderly and disabled faces closure.
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has come under fire for failing to inform the public that Warwick House day service has been retrospectively added to the list of adult social care facilities and services that could be axed.
The centre forms part of the six million pound new library building on Sutton Park Road.
Warwick House provides care and nursing on a daily basis to 25 people from Seaford, Peacehaven and Newhaven suffering from mobility issues, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Ms Caulfield said: “I am surprised to see Warwick House is part of the adult social care consultation without it being publicly known.
“It was not mentioned in ESCC’s budget, it is not mentioned on the consultation, meaning that residents are not being given a fair opportunity to voice their opinions on Warwick House.
“This has only come to light because of a brave whistleblower.
“I have written to ESCC demanding to know why Warwick House has been excluded from all discussions so far. I would urge all local residents to take part in the consultation and to include Warwick House in their responses.”
ESCC wrote to 18 employees at Warwick House last week to inform them that the day service had been added to the consultation list, along with Milton Grange and Firwood House in Eastbourne.
The revelation of the threat was brought to the attention of the Express by a source clos e to the day centre who has chosen to remain anonymous.
They said: “People who use the day service are understandably shocked, anxious and angry.
“This is such a poor decision, the carers rely on this service.
“It’s closure could lead to family breakdowns leading to the elderly and vulnerable being put into residential care homes.”
However, the public have been left unaware of the threat to Warwick House.
ESCC’s adult social care consultation press release has not been updated and consultation documents members of the public are invited to complete do not include Warwick House.
Supporters of Milton Grange and Firwood House care homes have had the benefit of MP Stephen Lloyd, campaigning on their behalf for more than a month now.
The original consultation runs until April 25, with a decision being made on June 5. Initially a spokesperson from ESCC said those who wished to give their views on Warwick House would only have a five-day extension until the end of April.
This has now been extended until May 28, giving members of the public the full ten weeks to have their say. The consultation follows the approval of ESCC’s £371 million budget, which includes making total savings of £17 million this year.
More than half of those savings, £10 million, will come from adult social care services.
A spokesman for ESCC said: “As we are including Warwick House and the three other day services in the consultation, our priority is to inform clients, carers and staff. As the county council does not directly provide the other three day services, we have recently agreed with the service provider that clients and carers will be informed of the intention to include these services in the consultation.”