Phased re-opening plan for Mid Wales day centres

Day centres in Mid Wales will be re-opening earlier than expected, but when depends on staff availability.

Powys County Council has confirmed it is looking at a phased re-opening of day centres
Powys County Council has confirmed it is looking at a phased re-opening of day centres

The centres across Powys have been closed for more than two years since the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Back in January, following a six-monthly review of the closure Powys County Council's then adult social care cabinet member, Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, decided to keep the facilities shut until August – and said that an outreach service would be provided.

The decision to keep the facilities closed has been questioned, particularly as Covid-19 public health measures have been relaxed and dropped.

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

After pressing for an update plans to re-open the centres, he has been told the council is looking at a phased re-opening until the end of July.

Some of the day centres included are Park Day Centre in Newtown, Maesywennol in Llanidloes, the Day Centre at Bethshan in Newtown, the East Radnor Day Centre in Presteigne, and the Hafal Crossroads, Machynlleth.

Councillor Ratcliffe has also asked whether there will be the chance to extend day care opportunities 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, 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.

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