THE heartbroken mother of a disabled child who is again facing the prospect of losing an overnight respite unit has called on the council to make sure they are doing the right thing.

Tina Southall, whose 16-year-old daughter Dalcie has used short break respite unit Ludlow Road in Kidderminster for six years, called on Worcestershire County Council to think about what closing Ludlow Road would do to her daughter and the rest of the families in the county with disabled children, before deciding to close the unit for good.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting yesterday, where members agreed to put the closure plans out for public consultation, Tina said: “I don’t want Ludlow Road to close as I think it is needed, as well as everything else.

"I think we need all the respite centres but I know Worcestershire County Council has to balance the books.

“I want you to be sure that you are in possession of the truth and that all the children’s needs are taken into consideration and you are absolutely sure this is the best solution.

“I know it’s easy to look at this in black and white and that it all makes business sense and it ticks a box. It has to be accurate.

Malvern Gazette:

“Please don’t forget that behind every decision you make there is a real family, my family, and my daughter.”

Ludlow Road was threatened with closure in 2018 but following a long and hard-fought campaign by parents, carers and families, the county council decided to keep the respite unit open until at least April 2019.

Mrs Southall said she was told “not to worry” when Ludlow Road was first threatened with closure because places would be available at Osborne Court in Malvern and Providence Road in Bromsgrove.

The stress of the closure had been a “horrible time” that had nearly taken her over edge and close to breaking point, she told the county council’s cabinet on Thursday.

But members went ahead and agreed to launch a 12-week consultation into the plan to close Ludlow Road in Kidderminster and make refurbishments to Osborne Court in Malvern.

Bosses at Worcestershire Health and Care Trust said the refurbishments, which includes extra beds for children and adults at Osborne Court, would cost around £1 million and would be completed by April 2020 at the earliest.