Gloucestershire

Dursley Training Unit users angry about service change

The families of a group of adults with learning difficulties have been told their current day-care arrangements in Gloucestershire will end this week.

Campaign group Friends of Dursley Training Unit said it was "absolutely outrageous" that a letter had been sent giving only a few days' notice.

Gloucestershire County Council said the letter had been sent from the providers of supported living, not the council.

"We understand this letter has caused distress", a spokeswoman said.

About half the unit's attendees - 11 people - who are residents of supported living units in Dursley are thought to be affected.

The Affinity Trust said three people had been contacted by telephone about "reviewing their care provision". A fourth person had not yet been contacted.

A second provider, Kelvyn, which is registered as a Domiciliary Care Agency to provide care for adults who have a learning disabilities, could not be contacted but campaigners claimed it had sent letters to affected residents.

'Contemptible action'

The council spokeswoman said: "We expected that both Kelvyn and Affinity would have involved families in the consultation on this issue.

"I would like to make it clear that Gloucestershire County Council is not stopping anyone from going to Dursley Training Unit.

"From January, we will pay providers to provide supported living to these users and this includes daytime activities.

"This isn't an issue specific to users of Dursley Training Unit, it affects everyone in supported living across the whole county.

Chris Pockett, spokesman for Friends of Dursley Training Unit, said: "It is difficult to describe just how angry and upset families and users are at this contemptible action.

"To give users and families just a few days' notice that a centre that has been a fundamental part of their lives for many years will be forever closed to them is a despicable injustice, and represents a blatant disregard for the rights of one of the most vulnerable groups in our society."

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