Petitioners celebrate after agreement is reached saving dementia day care service at Melton’s Gloucester House

Holding some of the petitions is resource centre manager Rhonda Fazackerley with ward councillors Margaret Glancy, Pam Posnett , Simon Lumley and resident Mary Allen.

Holding some of the petitions is resource centre manager Rhonda Fazackerley with ward councillors Margaret Glancy, Pam Posnett , Simon Lumley and resident Mary Allen.

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An agreement has been reached saving a vital dementia day care service at Melton’s Gloucester House to the huge relief of carers and their loved ones.

Thousands of people had signed a petition opposing the East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group’s (ELRCCG) plans to withdraw funding for the mental health centre, supporting people with advanced dementia, as of July 31.

The decision sparked a huge outcry, with many carers worried about where their loved ones would go and what would happen to them if the service was lost.

But yesterday, following a meeting between ELRCCG managing director Karen English and Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland’s executive director Tony Donovan, an agreement was reached to have a service level agreement/contract in place securing the service beyond July 31. It’s understood the new agreement could be for either one or three years although ELRCCG bosses were unable to confirm this or details of the deal at the time of going to press.

Mr Donovan said: “I’m absolutely delighted and carers are going to be overjoyed. The ELRCCG has listened to what we’ve been saying and taken into account the various representations that have been made.

“They’ve visited Gloucester House and recognised that the client group we deal with are very vulnerable and dependent as well as recognising the great pressure put on carers.

“I’m delighted with the way the ELRCCG has responded and we will go forward with them in the spirit of partnership.”

Carers have described the sessions provided at Gloucester House as being ‘a real lifeline’, giving them valuable respite from the stress of looking after their loved ones 24 hours a day as well as their loved ones benefiting from the social interaction with other people.

Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland does contribute money towards the service but had said it wouldn’t have been able to afford to keep it going without the additional annual £35,000 provided by the ELRCCG.

Rutland and Melton MP the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan, who has been closely involved in the campaign to save the mental health service at Gloucester House, said: “This is a major victory for Melton. I strongly criticised the CCG for their proposal to cut the funding, and their reversal of the decision is a lifeline for a vital service.

“I’m glad to have been able to help break the deadlock. What matters now is securing the future of Gloucester House for the long term.”