Charles House, the respite care home for severely disabled children with complex needs in West Heath, has received another Outstanding in its latest Ofsted report (congratulations to all the staff!).
Here, we have an update from parent Karl Philips on their attendance to Northfield Ward Committee Meeting on Monday.
At the Northfield Ward meeting on Monday night we had a group of about 15 there including Charles House parents, staff and supporters. Councillor Randall Brew chaired the meeting with Councillors Les Lawrence & Reg Corns, there were also about 20 other members of the public attending.
After a couple of presentations we asked for the possible closure of Charles House to raised in “MATTERS OF URGENT LOCAL CONCERN” as this is an essential service that helps 8 children in Northfield and many more across Birmingham.
Cllr Corns spoke up for Charles House saying he visited when they received the 188 notice and acknowledged what a great job they do for our kids with complex needs and then Cllr Lawrence responded with his “there no plans to close…” speech, then followed by a heated debate between our group & Cllr Lawrence for about 20 minutes. He was implying that it was the more long term care homes that were failing in standards that were being considered and not respite but could not give us any assurances.
I mentioned parents at Camborne House, like us, are worried our essential and highly valued services may be closed and Cllr Lawrence said at Camborne House there are problems with the building and access to it, but all services are being looked at. Also Labour candidate Brett O’Reilly gave us his backing during the debate.
When the chair wanted to move to the next item, Julie & Bill Butcher got up to leave and we all followed them out of the meeting in a mass exodus, but Cllr Lawence did come to talk with us outside for about 5 minutes to discuss our concerns further and said he would be willing to meet with parents, possibly before Christmas.
On the whole I’m happy that between all of us we raised all our issues and we were listened to but I still think we need to keep pressuring them and let them know are willing to fight them until Charles House and Camborne House are safe.
If you’re a parent of a child who use, or has used in the past, the facilities at Charles House, please get in touch and tell us your story.