A carer says the proposed closure of a respite home would disregard some of east London’s most vulnerable people.

Waltham Forest Council launched a consultation last week on plans to shut its Trumpington Road centre in Forest Gate.

The local authority claims the unit, which provides residential and respite care for adults with learning difficulties, is underused and more expensive than other, similar services.

However, carers have hit out at plans, including Catherine Tokens, from Leytonstone, whose 44-year-old son, Paul, has used Trumpington Road for the past 25 years.

She says the centre has been a vital service for Paul, who is non-verbal and has autistic tendencies, providing everything from day care to long-term help after he underwent heart surgery.

Mrs Tokens said: “They have wanted to close Trumpington Road down now for a number of years and therefore it has been underutilised.

“People have not been referred to the unit because we have had the closure hanging over us.

“Some of the carers are complaining that they want more respite, but we have got a catch 22 situation- people want the time but it is not being allocated.”

Trumpington Road can provide care for up to 10 adults at a time, with six beds used for long-term residential care and four used during respite care.

The council insists if the centre were to close, people receiving respite care would be offered alternative arrangements.

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Trumpington Road caters for adults with learning difficulties (pic: Google)

It plans to offer this partly through its Shared Lives scheme, as well as a new 30-bed respite facility for people under the age of 40 due to open in the borough later this year.

However, Mrs Tokens, 68, says many of those who use the centre, including her own son, could be left without respite care because they are over 40.

She added: “There are quite a few people who use Trumpington Road who are 40 or coming up to 40 now.

“The new unit isn’t even open yet and even when it is I don’t know if care is going to be available there.

“The most severely handicapped people are being overlooked, they have not got a voice and other services are not suitable for them.

“I don’t think what is happening is correct but it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle.”

Proposals to shut Trumpington Road were mooted as early as 2009, but have never been brought to public consultation.

Cllr Angie Bean, Cabinet Member for Adult Service, said: “We launched a six week consultation into the future of Trumpington Road on October 30.

“No decision has yet been taken in relation to the future of this service. We will continue to support people and their carers who use Trumpington Road.”

For more information, details of consultation events or to have your say online, visit: walthamforest.gov.uk/content/consultation-future-trumpington-road-care-home.