Anxiety grows over rumoured Chichester respite facility closure

WORRIED parents are becoming increasingly anxious that the Cherries respite care facility in Summersdale, Chichester is going to close.

The purpose-built, five-bedroom facility is run by the NHS for children with profound learning difficulties, life threatening illnesses and associated healthcare needs.

Jess Heatley, a mother who relies on Cherries, said: “It’s so desperately worrying; I can’t cope without knowing I have the cherries to look forward to.

“No-one wants to give us a straight answer and we want them to know just how devastated we would be if it closed.”

A spokesperson from NHS Sussex and Sussex Community NHS Trust, said they are struggling to recruit and replace their staff.

“The reduction in demand for short breaks due to changes in eligibility – there have been no new admissions for over a year – and the fact that change has been on the agenda for some time has had an impact on SCT’s ability to offer the quality of service we aspire to.”

Buy next week’s Observer for a full story, interviews and pictures.