Closure of Devon disability unit raises care concerns

The closure of a centre for people with learning disabilities in Devon has left some families without adequate care cover, it has been claimed.

The Welby Unit in Peverell, dating from the Victorian era, is said to be unfit for purpose and will see services transferred to Colwill Lodge, Estover.

While some families are being offered budgets to buy respite support, others have been told they are not eligible.

Plymouth City Council said it was working on individual support plans.

Support network

Opponents of the move have accused the authority of cost-cutting without offering sufficient alternative care.

Jan Halifax, whose 31-year-old daughter Emily has used Welby for two years, told BBC Radio Devon her family had been "devastated" by the decision.

"My daughter's in bits. Our whole safety net has gone.

"It's not just a place where Emma goes for respite care, it's the whole support network of Welby."

The council said every family had been "assessed and informed about their personal budget".

"We are helping users and their carers develop support plans that reflect individual interests and therefore support becomes more personalised and tailored to the individual," a spokesman said.

Work to expand Colwill Lodge is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

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