Day Centres in Powys will be re-opening over the summer

Day centres will be re-opening earlier than expected, but it depends on staff availability.

Maes Y Wennol, Llanidloes
Maes Y Wennol, Llanidloes

The centres have been closed for over two years since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Back in January, following a six-monthly review of the closure, the adult social care cabinet member at the time Councillor Myfanwy Alexander decided to keep the facilities shut until August and said an outreach service would be provided.

Keeping the facilities closed has been questioned especially as Covid-19 public health measures have been discarded.

Current council chairman, Councillor Gareth Ratcliffe has said that this issue was brought up for discussion several times during the recent local government election campaign.

Cllr Ratcliffe has now asked for an update on the day centre and whether there is plan for re-opening day centres across Powys

He also asks whether there will be the chance that day care opportunities can be extended to parts of Powys, such as Hay-on-Wye which he represents, that have not previously had them.

Cabinet member for a Caring Powys which includes Adult Social Care, Councllor Sian Cox said: “Any re-opening of day centres relies on a sufficiency of staffing for re-openings to be viable and safe.

“We are currently experimenting with phased re-opening of day centres between now and the end of July.

“But we need to do this with reference to premises’ risk assessments and staffing availability.

“We’re keen to work in partnership with others to understand what “good days” look like, given that day centres are just one of the ways in which people can meet up and connect with others.”

One of the issues that has kept the centres closed is that a number of staff were unable to work as they were deemed to be at higher risk of developing more serious symptoms if they contracted Covid-19.

MS Cox added that the council is looking to support “as many of these staff as possible” back into their roles.

In March 2020, 154 people attended Powys Day Centres for Older People, with 33 staff.

Powys Day Services for people with disabilities was attended by 124 people attended and had 70 staff.

The day centres are Park Day Centre, Newtown, Maesywennol, Llanidloes, Arlais Day Centre, Llandrindod Wells – was transferred to the housing department earlier this year for a scheme to build homes at the site, Arosfa, Brecon, Canolfan, Ystradgynlais, Day Centre at Bethshan, Newtown, East Radnor Day Centre, Presteigne and Hafal Crossroads, Machynlleth.

In September 2020, Welshpool Town Council closed the Ann Holloway Day Centre permanently, with the loss of five jobs.

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