National carer organisations are rallying against Glasgow City Council’s plans to close learning disability day care services across the city.

Despite being given feedback from carers and service users on the devastation this will cause to them and their families, the Council have continued to ignore these pleas and failed to address the evidence presented to them.

Under their proposals three day centres out of seven will close, directly affecting 300 people with learning difficulties as well as those who care for them.

Laura, who looks after her brother, said:

“Plain and simple - it is his life. He has a routine, as do we all. He gets up Monday to Friday and goes to his centre. He then looks forward on a Sunday evening of going back to his centre on a Monday.”

Eileen, who also cares for her sibling, said:

“I get peace of mind knowing she is suitably cared for and respite for me to rest, live my own life and deal with household matters.”

In a recent survey by the National Carer Organisations, 87 per cent of people who use day centres said that in an ideal world they would prefer to stay at the day centre than choose a different type of support service. Alarmingly, 73 per cent of carers who were in employment, as well as looking after someone who attends a day centre, said that the closures would affect their employment opportunities. In addition, many elderly carers are concerned that they aren’t in good enough health to cope with less support.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil wrote to Council leader Gordon Matheson (letter dated 14 October) proposing to fund a study into alternative care options for people with learning disabilities - as long as Mr Matheson agreed to a moratorium. The Council refused to consider this latest request to find a solution.

Florence Burke, Director of Carers Trust Scotland, said on behalf of the National Carer Organisations:

“The decision to close these vital services will shatter the lives of those who rely on them for support and respite. Carers struggle on a daily basis to juggle their caring responsibilities with their daily lives. To take away a much-loved and needed service, that allows them to have some time to themselves will have a negative impact on their health and wellbeing and also limit their employment opportunities. We strongly urge Glasgow City Council to reconsider their decision.”