A council is considering plans to close up to seven centres providing specialist care for older people suffering from dementia.

East Sussex County Council’s cabinet will discuss proposals today which could see the closure of a number of centres providing day services for older people in Lewes, Bexhill, Hailsham, Crowborough and Hastings.

In a separate proposal, the 31-bed care home Mount Denys in Hastings could close and be replaced by service run by a not-forprofit company.

The centres currently cost the council around £2 million a year to run at a time when the authority needs to save almost £28 million over the next three years from its adult social care budget.

The proposals would save around £1 million a year and the authority says the savings will have to be found elsewhere if the proposals are rejected.

The day services at risk include Phoenix Centre in Lewes, Charter Centre in Bexhill, Orion Centre in Hailsham, Hookstead Centre in Crowborough, Pinehill and the Isabel Blackman Centre in Hastings.

They have a combined capacity for 137 people every day.

A council report states four options will be explored from keeping the services as they are, a reduced council-run service, allowing a not-for-profit groups to run the centres or closing the centres completely or allowing not-for-profit groups to run similar services at a different location.

In total, the authority runs eight day care centres with Milton Grange in Eastbourne and Homefield Place in Seaford unaffected by the plans.


The centres are used as respite relief for carers while reducing the risk of dementia sufferers and their carers being cut-off from society.

The council report states increased services provided by voluntary and not-for-profit groups has seen a reduction in demand for the more traditional council run services.

At present, some of the council services such as Orion are on average less than half-full.

A consultation process of clients, carers, staff and community organisations is expected to be completed in December.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “The recommendation to cabinet is that day services for older people are reviewed to ensure they are being provided in the best way, so residents continue to be offered choice, independence and quality services.

“There is an increasing range of services for older people in East Sussex being delivered by the independent, voluntary and community sectors, while growing numbers of older people are arranging their own care, meaning fewer people are using our older people’s day services.

“Whatever the decision is, there will still be services for those who need them, whether provided by the council or the voluntary, community or independent sector.