Nascot Lawn parents to deliver petition to Theresa May

Nascot Lawn respite centre in Watford. Picture: Danny Loo.

Nascot Lawn respite centre in Watford. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

Parents and campaigners fighting to keep Nascot Lawn respite centre open will be delivering a petition with nearly 4,000 signatures to Downing Street this Friday.

The respite centre, based in Watford, provides short breaks to children with disabilities and learning difficulties, and has been under threat of closure by the NHS since last year.

To help keep the centre open the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) ran a petition which received 3,780 and will be delivered to Theresa May’s front door on Friday afternoon.

Parent Nikki Lawrence said: “I have been part of a group of parents fighting the closure of Nascot Lawn respite care centre in Hertfordshire for almost a year.

“My son Lennon spent many happy times at Nascot Lawn, being cared for with incredible expertise. Centres like Nascot allow families a short break so we can look after our children the best we can when they are at home.

“The devastation to children and families caused by closures of short breaks services cannot be overstated. That’s why we are today urging the government to step in to save them.”

The parents have so far been to the High Court to try and get the NHS to review their decision to pull £600k from the facility, which would effectively close it.

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They won, and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, which funds NHS services in West Herts, has had to go back and consult with parents and Herts County Council, which is responsible child services.

Campaign manager of DCP Stephen Kingdom said: “It should not take parents fighting in the courts to keep short breaks services going.

“Short breaks are essential to help families with disabled children continue to care for them at home. It’s unforgivable that these essential services are under threat across the country.

“Thousands of parents have joined together to sign this petition to say enough is enough, we need the government to step in to save short breaks services.”

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group has also asked parents to submit their views for a consultation, which closed on April 18.

The Herts Advertiser has previously written about the people who rely on Nascot Lawn, such as David Josephs and his son Dominic and Claire Bryson and her daughter Evelyn.