THE decision to close a respite unit for vulnerable children in Kidderminster has been branded "shameful" by readers.

Worcestershire County Council's cabinet voted to back plans by health bosses to close Ludlow Road, a respite care unit which offers short overnight breaks, and refurbish Osborne Court in Malvern.

The Kidderminster unit, which has been used by families across the county, was classed as neither “operationally viable or cost-effective” by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

Ofsted said the facility should be a four-bed self-contained unit which led the health trust to say it would no longer be value for money.

The health trust plans to improve facilities at Osbourne Court in Malvern by adding four more children’s beds - two of which would be commissioned by the county council.

The future of the Kidderminster care unit had been in the balance for a number of years.

Councillor Fran Oborski, chairman of the council's children and families scrutiny panel, said on Thursday that health bosses had assured her services would fit the needs of the children and was "content" closing Ludlow Road was the right decision.

But readers have criticised the decision, branding the closure "shameful".

One reader commented: "Cabinet members don’t have life-limited children who rely on such a facility."

Another wrote: "Ludlow Road has been a home for years for respite for families who have children with special needs. Those parents need a break.

"The children were well cared for the staff were devoted to those children and their care. Shame on you who made the decision to close it."

One comment read: "Another building to stand and rot."

Stephen Brown, of Wyre Forest Labour, who joined parents in the campaign against Ludlow Road's closure, said: "The massive public campaign to save Ludlow Road sent a clear and loud message to the council to keep it open.

"This is a valuable and necessary facility for the families using it."

He added: "Once again Wyre Forest is being robbed blind by the authorities as our services are shut down or moved elsewhere. Anyone saying otherwise is lying."

Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust have been approached for a response.