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Norfolk dementia unit to close this autumn

17:52 31 August 2012

County Hall, Norwich.

County Hall, Norwich.

Archant

Dementia patients and their families have been reassured that every effort will be made to smooth their transition from a closing day centre in Blofield to a larger unit in Norwich.

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News that Stocks Lane Day Centre is to close has been confirmed by Norfolk County Council and been described as “very bad news” by one person involved with the Blofield day centre.

The person, who asked not to be named, said: “The patients will be moved from a very small, intimate and secure nine-person unit, to a very large unit.

“This is very bad news because people with dementia don’t like crowds or noise.”

The services provided at Stocks Lane will be merged into the Harford Hill day centre off Ipswich Road in Norwich “this autumn”, according to the county council.

Sarah Stock, head of prevention, support and re-ablement services in the county council’s Community Services department, said: “I do understand that this relocation will cause some anxiety among those people who attend Stocks Lane Day Centre and their families.

“It’s not a decision we would take lightly and there are a number of reasons why we think it is the right thing to do.”

Ms Stock said the number of people attending Stocks Lane had dropped in the last year to between three and five people attending on an average day.

She also said that the Blofield day centre did not meet some modern standards, such as doors of some rooms not being wide enough for wheelchair users, which are met at Harford Hill.

Ms Stock added: “The days that people currently choose to attend Stocks Lane, the current transport arrangements and the provision of hot meals will remain the same when the relocation happens, if this is what the users and their families want.

“Importantly, when Harford Hill opened it was itself a relocation of another day centre for people with dementia, the Mousehold Day Centre in north Norwich.

“This was a similar service to that offered at Stocks Lane and families were similarly anxious about this change, but we worked hard to handle it sensitively and with care for each person affected.

“This relocation went really well and the day centre users and their families are really happy at Harford Hill, and with all it can offer them.”

It was also said that all staff at Stocks Lane are being given the opportunity to transfer to Harford Hill.

- Do you know someone who will be badly effected by the changes? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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