Northamptonshire Council slammed by Mencap for reducing respite services

Mencap has blasted Northamptonshire Council’s plans to tighten social care eligibility criteria and reduce respite services for people with learning difficulties.

The charity’s chief executive, Jo Williams, said today she was “bitterly disappointed” by the council’s decision to close two respite centres for people with learning difficulties and restrict access to all adult services to people with critical and ‘greater substantial’ needs.

It currently provides services to those with critical and substantial needs, but has divided the substantial band into two parts, greater and lesser substantial needs, to restrict eligibility.

A council spokesperson said it expected around 1,500 people to be affected by the change to eligibility criteria but that it had not yet re-assessed people.

Although the council is closing the Cranwell and Quarry House respite centres, the spokesperson said it would invest in alternative respite provision for adults with learning difficulties.

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