Parents worried as specialist Northampton respite care centre faces uncertain future

Full story at Northampton Chronicle and Echo, 9 April 2018

The parents who use a specialist Northampton respite care centre for children are worried the service may come to an end after a 32 per cent reduction in funding.

The contract, which ends in July, to run the John Greenwood Shipman Centre was put up for tender in March and parents were told by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) that it didn’t see a way it could safely look after the children within the restructured financial model.

Northamptonshire County Council has advised it will continue to provide £2.1m per year along with co-funders Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), whose share of funding has reduced in 2018/19.

“It’s pretty awful. It means we go from just about coping to not coping,” said Kate Jarvis, from Harpole, whose daughter Leah uses the centre.

“It means our 15-year-old doesn’t get a break from us, nor us from her, or from her siblings.”

She added: “How can we trust a body we know nothing about to deliver the care our children need if the NHFT can’t do it?”