Over the last six months 19 service users have had their overnight respite cancelled.

The figures were released by DHSC Minister Lawrie Hooper after a question from Speaker Juan Watterson;

Residential Respite for Adults with a Learning Disability is currently provided by Manx Care at Radcliffe Villas in Douglas, which has a maximum overnight capacity of 11 beds.

The Lib Vannin leader said this cancellations were the equivalent to 27 bed nights.

He added: ‘There are a number of reasons why respite may have been cancelled, but it is always considered as last resort, with every effort made to ensure that the carer support provided by respite, is maintained. Staff shortages do occur and are generally supported by a flexible and responsive relief team however, this is not always possible.

‘Prior to any respite being cancelled, a number of factors are considered, including; how many nights the service user is currently accessing respite? What impact the cancelling respite will have and has the service user had their respite cancelled previously? It is also common practice for an alternative night, where possible, to be explored and offered.’

Covid Outbreaks

Mr Hooper said that the service has encountered ‘several serious outbreaks of Covid 19 across its directly provided services for Older People and Dementia Care’ since June 2021 and that it has been necessary to redeploy staff from the Learning Disability Services to maintain services and reduce the risks in the areas affected by Covid.

He added: ‘When all options have been exhausted including the use of relief staff, staff from Hollydene Respite Unit were redeployed to Older Peoples Services, which in turn, necessitated the cancellation of respite for some service users.’

No Longer Fit for Purpose

The Minister also revealed that Radcliffe Villas is ‘no longer compliant with the Regulation of Care Act and environmental limitations do exist’.

He added: ‘These limitations include the number of wheelchair users that can be accommodated at any given time, access to specialist bathrooms and compatibility with other service users. Designs for the replacement of Radcliffe Villas are at an advanced stage and have been accompanied by an associated business case, which evidences and supports the increasing demand for Learning Disability Respite Care.’

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