Concerns over plans to axe night care staff at Burgess Hill flats

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Worried relatives of residents living at ‘assisted living’ flats in Burgess Hill are up in arms after being told that night care staff there are to be axed.

Marten House at The Brow is home to around 28 elderly residents and has carers available over a 24-hour period. But relatives say they were told at a meeting last week that night care would no longer be available for residents from September.

Many now fear they will have to find new homes for their loved-ones. A number are writing protest letters to Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames, West Sussex County Council and Mid Sussex councillor Anne Jones.

One woman, whose 81-year-old mother has lived at Marten House for the past two years, said: “It’s all about saving costs. It means my mother will have to move to alternative accommodation. She has dementia and it will cause her more confusion. She won’t be able to cope.”

She added: “The night staff are very good. If that element is taken away my mum, and everyone else, is very unsettled and feeling insecure. They are vulnerable adults and they are taking out an element of their security.”

Gladys Whale is also concerned for her brother who also lives at Marten House. She said: “It seems to me in order to save a few pounds the quality of life of vulnerable residents like my brother – who has been a taxpayer all his adult life until retirement – now have to suffer.

“My brother suffers from Huntington’s disease which is a dreadful illness he has to cope with as it is. Now with this upheaval he will likely experience, if indeed he now has to move into a nursing home, it seems harsh treatment for elderly and vulnerable persons.”

A spokesman for the county council said the decision to remove night time care ‘has been taken following an overall assessment of the needs of residents at Marten House’. “Planned care calls to residents will not be affected by this change and residents will continue to have access to a 24/7 monitoring service via Lifeline,” they said.

“Marten House will continue to have a dedicated scheme manager who will be based on site during office hours, and there will be no change to the midday meal service at the scheme.”