“We need more time”: St Albans mother Claire Bryson breaks down while talking about Nascot Lawn’s likely closure

PUBLISHED: 11:03 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:03 11 July 2017

Claire Bryson with her daughter Evelyn, 9. Picture: Danny Loo

Claire Bryson with her daughter Evelyn, 9. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A St Albans mother was verging on tears discussing the uncertain future her daughter faces if Nascot Lawn closes.

For the past few weeks, we have been telling the story of Claire Bryson and her daughter Evelyn, who cannot walk, talk, or see.

The Brysons are one of 70 families who have been left adrift following the news Nascot Lawn respite service will likely close.

Claire said: “We need more time. Once it is shut the cost of reopening it will be even more expensive.

“If it has to be closed, what alternatives are there? The current ones are full, and they are not for children with complex needs.

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

“So we need more time with Nascot Lawn to work out if there are other funding alternatives, otherwise we’re left with nothing.”

Nascot Lawn in Watford provides care for children with complex health needs, funded by Herts Valleys clinical commissioning group (HVCCG).

Families were contacted by post to be told HVCCG would be pulling £600,000 of funding from Nascot Lawn to help save £45 million.

The decision means families across West Herts face having to care for their children all year-round.

Several organisations have strongly criticised the decision, including carers’ charity Carers in Herts.

Carers in Herts chief executive, Michèle Stokes, said: “We were disappointed to learn of this decision as there was no consultation prior to the announcement with those directly affected or voluntary sector partners like ourselves.

“The loss of the respite service will put extra strain on families and cause anxiety as they do not know what support they will have in the future.

“While we recognise the difficult financial situation that HVCCG is in, this decision does not seem to have taken account of the impact of closure on the wider health and social care economy.”

HVCCG justified their decision to St Albans district council, arguing Herts county council ought to pay for Nascot Lawn as it was social, not health care.

Chief executive Kathryn Magson said: “We cannot be making discretionary payments that are statutory responsibilities of other authorities. People would not expect that when there is demand in the health care system.”

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