Families devastated that respite centre will close

Nascot Lawn currently offers respite care for children with complex health needs and learning disabilities from across Hertfordshire.

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The planned closure which was voted on, on Thursday (10 May), is despite a High Court ruling in January that said the decision to withdraw funding was unlawful.  Satnam Kaur who is a mother to a teenager with a rare chromosome disorder and has used the centre for 13 years said: "I'm disappointed and devastated. We're left in a position with no care. I can't cope without respite. "I'm a single mum with two other children- one preparing for SAT's and one preparing for 11+. I feel like the entire system has let us down. It's our worst nightmare come true. Are they waiting for Carers to breakdown now? Our children will end up in care then." In January a High Court judge ruled that health bosses had acted unlawfully when they failed to consult with Hertfordshire County Council regarding their plans. As part of this new proposal to withdraw funding the CCG voted to enter into a joint agreement with Hertfordshire County Council and East and North Herts CCG to support respite care at the Council’s three existing respite facilities. Amanda Batten, Chair of the Disabled Children's Partnership and CEO of Contact, said: "Families that use centres like Nascot Lawn describe them as being nothing short of a lifeline. They save the state tens of millions of pounds by supporting parents to look after their disabled children and they give disabled children opportunities that their peers take for granted." She added: "Herts CCG's decision must not open the door for other CCGs to take similar action." Hertfordshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee has called for further negotiations between the Council and the CCG, so agreement can be reached before a decision was made. The committee raised concerns on Wednesday that they were not satisfied that the current plans are in the interest of the health service. They said that if agreement could not be reached, a meeting of full Council would vote on whether or not to refer the matter to the Secretary of State. Presenting a response she had written to the Scrutiny Committee chair, the CCG chief executive, Kathryn Magson outlined areas where the CCG agreed with the Council’s recommendations. However Ms Magson said they needed clarification from the Council before they could further consider financial contribution. To read more about the issue on cuts to respite care click here.  We will update on this story as it develops.  
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