Nascot Lawn: No decision reached on future of St Albans’ local respite centre

PUBLISHED: 14:26 13 September 2017

The entrance to Nascot Lawn respite centre in Watford. Photo: DANNY LOO

The entrance to Nascot Lawn respite centre in Watford. Photo: DANNY LOO

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Negotiations over the future funding of Nascot Lawn respite centre have continued to no avail, despite parents offering to provide 20 per cent of it.

Parents, and representatives from Herts county council (HCC), and Herts Valleys clinical commissioning group (HVCCG) addressed the council’s health scrutiny sub-committee last week.

David Josephs, whose son Dominic uses the service, was not at the meeting, but said: “It was a long day of detailed investigation.

“What will come of it is anyone’s guess, in that I think the committee will produce a series of recommendations, but what they will say I do not know.

“It may be useful, but it may not. I am not clear what powers the scrutiny committee has. It may say ‘it’s important we put the families at the heart of what we are doing’, which are fine words, but it’s all about action.

“Does this lead to a successful conclusion for Nascot Lawn? Sadly that is not a question I cannot answer.

“There is still no invitation from the NHS or the local authority to save Nascot Lawn.”

A meeting has been organised for Monday afternoon between HCC, HVCCG, and the parents.

David says this will be a critical meeting to gauge whether either has any intention of saving the centre.

While the parents’ offer was not ruled out, HVCCG said because of having to save £45m this year, they cannot provide any more funding.

A HVCCG spokesperson said: “As our budgets come under increasing pressure we have to concentrate resources on services that we have a legal responsibility to provide.

“It is unfortunately not possible for us to fund services, including at Nascot lawn, that fall outside of this remit and that are the responsibility of the local authority.”

HCC children’s services cabinet member Teresa Heritage, said: “The scrutiny meeting that took place further supports the need to look at why HVCCG made the decision to withdraw funds without proper consultation with the families, the carers and other interested parties, including us.

“We await formal notification of the conclusions and recommendations from the scrutiny committee and will review those. We absolutely see it as a priority to continue updating the families and carers with the latest developments.”

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