CAMPAIGNERS from the Parents of Ludlow Load action group have criticised a Cabinet report considering the closure of the Kidderminster respite unit.

Road, a respite unit which offers short overnight breaks to some of the region's most disabled children, has been classed as neither "operationally viable or cost-effective" by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust - meaning it could be closed down permanently.

A consultation was launched at the start of 2018 into the future of services at Ludlow Road, prompting parents and Wyre Forest Labour to launch a campaign to save the unit, including a petition which attracted 8,225 signatures.

Parent Amanda Danby whose son Mason attends the unit, said: “We are exhausted by this whole process - as if we haven't got enough to cope with.

"We still haven't had figures on the actual numbers of children who need this service now, or will need it in the future against a backdrop of rising demand.

"We also do not trust that our children will have a comparable level of night’s care somewhere else."

Speaking on behalf of Wyre Forest Labour today, press officer Stephen Brown said: “When closure of the unit was first proposed around Christmas time in 2017 - and let’s be clear it wasn’t the first time it had faced the axe - the community rallied round to defend it, as they always do.

"Local people really care about protecting this service and were brilliant in their support to keep Ludlow Road open.

"We fought a hard campaign alongside the parents to keep it open, making national headline news and gathering the support of 8,500 residents."

Stephen added: "The fight will go on until the number crunchers at County Hall start serving the public and not themselves.

"I’d urge residents to write, email, or call their local county councillor to object and be pretty vocal about it. Don’t hold back.

"What the council are doing to the children and their parents and families is outrageous.”

A joint statement from the county council and health and care trust said: "The council and the health and care trust are committed to the continued provision of a wide range of support for children and young people with disabilities and their families, including the provision of overnight respite care when this is needed.

"The proposal for a different delivery model for the provision of overnight short breaks for children and young people would deliver a service that is sustainable and responsive to changing demand.

"As part of this proposal Osborne Court would be developed to provide overnight short breaks for both children and adults within the same complex which would help the transition for young people when they reach the age of requiring adult services. It also has facilities such as hydrotherapy pool, sensory rooms and extensive gardens.

"Any final decision on the proposed delivery of overnight short breaks for children (should the Cabinet agree to the consultation) will only be made after consultation with families, professionals and wider stakeholders.”

Cabinet will consider the proposal on Thursday.