Families of people with learning difficulties who use a respite home in a north-east town have criticised health bosses over the “poor options” they have been given if the facility closes.
The future of the respite bungalow on Robertson Road in Fraserburgh hangs in the balance and families who depend on the centre have claimed the options they have been given if the facility closes “aren’t good enough”.
They claim their family members will be affected if the base shuts down or if Aberdeenshire Council decides not to merge it with a similar facility in Peterhead.
During consultations with management at the bungalow, families of service users were told that if they didn’t merge with Peterhead respite centre, their options would be to have service users spend two nights at a hotel or be given a foster family placement.
Donna Morrison’s 20-year-old son attends the facility in Fraserburgh.
She said: “We’ve been given options, but they aren’t good options. They have painted a rosy garden picture but we’re not buying into it.”
Wendy Dalgarno launched an online petition to keep the facility open which has now amassed more than 2,000 signatures.
She said: “If we were to move to Peterhead, it’s out of the way and has nothing round about it, making it isolating for the service users.
“At the moment, the service users go to the Robertson Road day centre and, if they were to move, they wouldn’t have this day facility and won’t get out to the shops either.”
At the Banff and Buchan area committee meeting, councillor Charles Buchan raised an emergency motion urging the views of Fraserburgh families and members of the public to be considered by health managers.
Councillor Doreen Mair backed the motion and described the review into the future of the facility as a “box-ticking exercise.”
However, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership insisted last night that no final decision has been reached.
A spokeswoman said: “We are still very much in the review process and no decisions about the future of the Robertson Road respite facility has been made.
“It is really important to stress that this review is about ensuring we can provide a 24/7 service and emergency bed, which is something we are not currently able to provide.
“Furthermore with the increased uptake of SDS we are seeing many of our clients accessing fantastic services that they have chosen and are absolutely the right choice for them.”