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HONITON: Respite centre future unclear

Thursday, 06 March 2014

The future of a respite centre for people with learning difficulties remains unclear more than two months after it was flooded.
Pine Park House in Pine Park Road, Honiton, is run by Devon County Council (DCC), offering short stay respite care for people aged 15 and upwards with learning difficulties and associated problems.
But it was flooded during the Christmas and New Year period and has been shut since.
DCC bosses say alternative respite care has been arranged elsewhere for Pine Park House users, but there is no promise the flood-hit facility will reopen.
West Hill couple Eileen and Bob Gaiger are worried that Pine Park House won't reopen.
Their daughter Laura, 30, attended Pine Park House on a regular basis until flooding forced the closure.
In a letter to DCC, Eileen and Bob wrote: “There is no assurance that your ultimate plan is to repair the damage at Pine Park and reopen the facility as soon as possible.
“We don't think that you are fully aware of the added stress this problem brings to carers who already have difficult lives because of their caring responsibilities.”
They have visited two alternative centres but say there are a number of problems, including fixtures and fittings that could cause their daughter to have an accident.
Some of the obstacles they have found would mean their daughter would be confined to her room during stays.
Eileen and Bob also wrote: “It is clear to us that Pine Park provides a first rate service in terms of accommodation and the excellent and caring team that work there.”
They have since met with a DCC officer, but no assurances about reopening Pine Park could be given.
Eileen told Pulman’s View they are grateful for the help given by DCC in trying to solve immediate matters, but they are concerned about the future of Pine Park.
A DCC spokesperson told Pulman's View: “We’re still in the process of evaluating the damage and assessing the cost.
“In the meantime everyone who was receiving our respite service from Pine Park has been offered alternative respite in other locations.”

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