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Town day centres to stay closed until 2022

 
Created on 30/07/2021 @ 08:13
Newtown's Park Street Day Centre will not reopen until February next year, along with other Powys County Council day centres.

A review was taking place to see if they could open on 12 August. The day centre at the Bethshan Nursing Home in Newtown and another in Llanidloes will also stay closed until 2022.

Following advice and an updated review of the risks in re-starting the service, adult social care portfolio holder Cllr Myfanwy Alexander has confirmed that the centres will remain closed in a delegated deicision.

This decision will come into force next Wednesday, August 4, even though it’s expected that Wales will move to Covid alert level zero on Saturday, August 7.

A report by head of adult services, Michael Gray, explains that an added problem now is the lack of staff to run the centres safely.

Mr Gray said: “Due to staffing vacancies, deployment of staff to business-critical roles, staff ill health and staff shielding, it is not possible to safely resource both in terms of premises and transport these settings at pre-pandemic capacity levels.

“Re-opening these settings relies, amongst other things, on sufficient staff
availability.

“This is not currently possible.

“There are 32 staff in substantive day centre/service posts who remain redeployed to business-critical activities.”

“A number of these staff are not currently able to deliver care within two metres.

“The service will continue to review this position and respond
accordingly as the alert levels and pandemic dictate.”

Mr Gray added that discussions will continue with the people who were attending the day centres and that “no assumptions” are made on whether they will actually want to return to the buildings in the future.

Due to this Mr Gray that his staff  will continue to develop
“alternative day opportunities.”

The centres have been closed since March 2020 when the first coronavirus lockdown was announced, and Powys County Council went into emergency business continuity mode.

Due to calls to reopen them last summer, an assessment was made, and it was decided that it was not possible to open them safely, since then there have been two six monthly reviews.

In March 2020, 154 people attended Powys Day Centres for Older People, with 33 staff.

Powys Day Services for people with disabilities was attended by 124 people attended and had 70 staff.

The day centres are:

Park Day Centre, Newtown.
Maesywennol, Llanidloes.
Arlais Day Centre, Llandrindod Wells.
Arosfa, Brecon.
Canolfan, Ystradgynlais.
Day Centre at Bethshan, Newtown.
East Radnor Day Centre, Presteigne.
Hafal Crossroads, Machynlleth.

In September 2020, Welshpool Town Council closed the Ann Holloway Day Centre permanently, with the loss of five jobs.

 

 

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service