Nascot Lawn respite service to remain open until January

PUBLISHED: 17:17 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:18 10 August 2017

Nascot Lawn.

Nascot Lawn.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Nascot Lawn respite service has been given a stay of execution until January.

The facility, which helps care for children with complex health needs, was due to close in October.

However this has now been extended thanks to an agreement between the NHS and Herts county council (HCC).

Cabinet member for children’s services, Teresa Heritage, said: “We understand that this is a worrying time for parents and carers and we want to reassure them that the wellbeing of all the children who attend Nascot Lawn is of paramount importance to us.

“We are disappointed Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) has decided to cease their funding contribution to short breaks services which means we will not be able to move forward with the integrated health and social care provision we had been working together to achieve.

Cllr Teresa Heritage. Photo: DAVID HARTNUP/HERTS COUNTY COUNCILCllr Teresa Heritage. Photo: DAVID HARTNUP/HERTS COUNTY COUNCIL

“For children who stay overnight at Nascot Lawn, joint health and social care assessments are being carried out by our children’s services team and HVCCG.

“For children between two and four who access day care only, we are working closely with HVCCG to transition them to alternative services.

“The families and carers of these children are automatically entitled to free early education and childcare and therefore do not need an additional assessment.

“Health assessments are currently being carried out by HVCCG for these children and where required a social care assessment will also be completed.

David Josephs speaks with the Herts Advertiser about the importance of Nascot Lawn's support for his family. Picture: Danny LooDavid Josephs speaks with the Herts Advertiser about the importance of Nascot Lawn's support for his family. Picture: Danny Loo

“Following a full council meeting on Tuesday, July 18, it has been confirmed funding for Nascot Lawn will be extended until Wednesday, January 31 2018.

“It has also been agreed that Herts county council, HVCCG and East & North Herts CCG will share the cost of this extension.

“This allows time for the assessments to be completed and for children to be transitioned to alternative arrangements.”

Herts Valleys CCG announced in June they and North Herts CCG would be pulling £600,000 of funding from Nascot Lawn.

Claire and Chris Bryson with their daughter Evelyn, 9. Picture: Danny LooClaire and Chris Bryson with their daughter Evelyn, 9. Picture: Danny Loo

This kicked off a fervent petition and social media campaign by parents to secure the future of their children’s care.

Cllr Heritage’s statement will come as some relief to those families.

David Josephs, whose son Dominic uses Nascot Lawn, said: “I am glad common sense has prevailed, at least in the short term.

“It shows HCC can work with the CCGs to fund Nascot Lawn.

“My concern is the letter families received from HCC confirming this extension used words along the lines of ‘this allows for an extended period while suitable provision is found’.

“There are four respite centres in Hertfordshire. If that is reduced to three, that has implications for the other people using respite centres.

“What I really hope is going to happen is HCC will work with the CCGs to develop a long term future for Nascot Lawn.

“I want to stay at Nascot Lawn, but there is still the worry it might close.

“People are pleased there has been an extension but it’s only for three months which takes the panic out of the situation for them, but at the moment it does not look like Nascot Lawn has a future but that is what we are fighting to change.”

David spoke at a Herts council meeting last month about Nascot Lawn.

The meeting was also attended by St Albans mum Claire Bryson, whose daughter Evelyn uses the respite centre.

About this latest development, she said: “I’m very pleased as it’s a really good start.

“We are determined to continue with the campaign, as although three months is really helpful, we are looking for HCC to work with us and the two CCGs to develop sustainable funding.

“We are very worried where this will put the children in other respite centres, as there is not enough room. It is not fair to the other parents.”

Overall, she said: “It is a good start, but there is still a long way to go.

“We will continue our discussions and try and get all the parties together.”

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