A vital local NHS service is under threat. A respite centre for disabled children - this is a clear outrage. Please do support and promote the campaign.
Liberal Democrat Councillors Stephen Johnson, Mark Hofman, Jane Johnson and Peter Taylor outside Nascot Lawn.
Watford Borough Council is now officially opposed to the controversial closure of NHS Nascot Lawn following a Council meeting earlier this week. We were pleased that the motion was supported unanimously - below is the speech given by Cllr Mark Hofman during council. To support the campaign click here
"This motion is about infants, children and young people with severe learning and physical disabilities who require 24 hour care, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and depend on the respite care delivered in my ward by NHS Nascot Lawn on Langley Road.
These are vulnerable people that may have colostomies or regular seizures, or may require feeding by IV tube directly into their stomachs.
And are cared for by a dedicated team of trained NHS professionals, some of whom have been working at the site for decades.
They are a trusted team that parents depend and rely on providing a ‘home from home’ for vulnerable children, giving mothers and fathers a short break from the often demanding toll of caring for a child with extremely complex needs.
This gives them the opportunity to spend precious time with their other children, partners, friends, or just some time off from an exhausting care programme to recover physically and mentally.
I am in awe of the commitment, love and dedication of the parents and families of these children. Unless you have seen it first-hand, you cannot understand what living with children this sick and disabled is like.
Now imagine if that occasional lifeline is arbitrarily removed by the NHS. Parents say, and I am sure they are right, that it is likely to cost the NHS much more money in the longer run. I also believe that it breaches their child’s rights and, what is more, their rights as carers, working all day and all night, and nursing their children all their lives.
These children are so sick that they cannot even go to children’s hospices for care. One mum said on television the other day that she could not leave her child on the ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital because that specialist hospital does not have the staffing levels needed to look after her child.
Providing support for the most vulnerable children in our society is a basic function of a health and care system, I believe that withdrawing this service will have a disproportionate, negative impact on those who need access to respite care the most.
In any decent, caring society, we would value and protect the work that institutions such as NHS Nascot Lawn provide to the community.
Our local CCG is facing up to £45 million worth of budget cuts, however, before the election the Conservatives pledged an additional £8 billion in real terms over the course of the next parliament for the NHS.
Yet just a week after the election result was confirmed, over 60 families received letters telling them that a health care service that they truly depend on, delivered by the NHS in Hertfordshire, would close on the 31st October, leaving them with little or no alternative provision.
Since the General Election, ministers including the Chancellor have signalled that a relaxation of austerity measures could form part of the Government’s agenda for the forthcoming Parliament, so why are the Conservatives targeting NHS Nascot Lawn for closure?
Colleagues, we cannot stand for this, I welcome the Labour group’s offer to support our motion, the NHS shouldn’t be about point scoring; it’s about people, about our people’s health and wellbeing.
Our local CCG, Herts County Council and our Conservative MP’s must work together to protect the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our county.
I would also like to take this opportunity to strongly praise the work the Save Nascot Lawn campaign has put in to raise awareness of the centre’s imminent closure, they have taken this issue to the national stage, and their fight, determination, and resolve is truly an inspiration to us all."