Nascot Lawn: Growing pressure on Herts NHS after St Albans MP joins calls for full funding until January

Nascot Lawn. Photo: Danny Loo.

Nascot Lawn. Photo: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

St Albans MP Anne Main has added her voice to calls from Herts MPs for guarantees for Nascot Lawn respite centre.

The Watford facility provides short breaks for children, including in St Albans and Harpenden, with complex health needs.

Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCGG) announced earlier this year it would close, yet following pressure from parents, they promised to keep it open until January.

However parents claim staff are quitting the facility, creating a shortage and decreasing the number of breaks each child is given.

St Albans MP Anne Main said: “I have had parents come to me explaining how the temporary provision for respite means that they are getting less care than was previously expected.

“While the CCG have explained their position, I have written to Herts County Council in the last week asking them to look into the individual cases of those affected.”

Harpenden MP Bim Afolami last week expressed his own concerns about the future funding of Nascot Lawn.

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He and Mrs Main added their names to a letter to HVCCG, which reads: “One of the many of the concerns with this closure is the engagement process does not allow reasonable time to work on a constructive solution.”

The MPs say it is “crucial” HVCCG and Herts Community Trust, which pays the staff, ensure Nascot Lawn remains a fully-funded service until January 31.

HVCCG reiterated their promise to fund Nascot Lawn until January 2018, and said: “We are in regular contact with Hertfordshire Community Trust to ensure parents will continue to receive respite care until that date.

“In the interests of providing certainty for families and also for Nascot Lawn staff we want to make our new decision as quickly as we can and will aim to do this no later than Thursday, November 2.

“We are also working closely with Herts County Council, which has a statutory duty to provide short breaks and is responsible for making sure that there is a plan to meet families’ future respite needs.”

HVCCG have written to HCC, offering to work together on a joint-funding proposal.