SENIOR Pembrokeshire councillors have backed plans to close two of the county’s centres for older adults and those with learning disabilities, service users moving to other centres in the county.
At the January 8 meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet, members backed a recommendation to approve the relocation of Day Services for older adults and adults with a learning disability provided from Portfield SAC, Haverfordwest, and Avenue SAC, Tenby, to alternative venues from April 1.
The alternative venues will be Meadow Park Day Centre in Prendergast, Haverfordwest and Lee Davies Day Centre in Narberth, both of which have been used as alternative sites since August 2023, with the Avenue also served by The Anchorage SAC/South Quay.
A report for members said the alternative of keeping the existing services at Portfield and The Avenue, together with investment and maintenance of the buildings, would have a minimum cost of £1,257,000; £640,419.02 and £616,581.34 respectively, with numbers of service users attending day centres rather than other facilities dropping since the Covid pandemic.
The report said: “It has been identified over recent years that there is a need to review the way in which Day Service and ‘Day Opportunities’ are provided in Pembrokeshire for both older people and people with learning disabilities.
“The historical arrangements rely on a large number of buildings and services being provided for people based on their disability / diagnosis rather than common interests.
“The medium-term plan is to focus more on maintaining peoples’ independence by modernising the way that day opportunities are made available within an individual’s own community.”
A new ‘hub & spoke’ model of service delivery was subject to a formal consultation in late 2019; it was deemed that the development of a two ‘hubs’ model, based in the north and south of the county; Portfield and the Avenue had initially been considered as sites, but were “deemed inappropriate” due to the costs needed “to bring them up to a reasonable standard”.
Members heard transportation for users of The Avenue centre in Tenby to Narberth had already been arranged, and feedback had been “extremely positive,” with ‘taster sessions’ at the alternative venues before service users were given a final choice.
Cabinet Member for Social Care & Safeguarding Cllr Tessa Hodgson said: “The transition has already been made because of the health and safety concerns; I think the ‘hub and spoke’ model is the right way for us to go.”