HARWICH families have been left in limbo after a care home was forced to close down its day care centre, with one councillor fearing the move is a result of "council cuts".

Lime Court Care, in Lime Avenue, Harwich, is run by Dovercourt Healthcare Limited and Excel Care Holdings, and provides 44 beds and also a day care service.

Bosses at the home, however, have now confirmed "with a heavy heart" the "difficult decision" to shut down the facility's Lime Court Day Centre, which offered respite care for families with vulnerable adults.

A spokesman from Excelcare said: "We understand the impact this decision will have on all those who have been a part of our community.

"We express our deepest compassion for the disappointment and sadness that families who have enjoyed the day centre may be feeling."

Gazette: Care - Excelcare's Lime Court Care home in HarwichCare - Excelcare's Lime Court Care home in Harwich (Image: Excelcare)

According to the home, despite best efforts, the day care centre has "struggled financially for several years".

The spokesman added: "As of May 20, our contract with the council will expire, leaving us with no choice but to make the extremely difficult decision to close the day centre." 

Bosses at Essex County Council have said they will work closely with the care home to ensure the transition for those in its care is as smooth as possible.

A spokesman said: "We are reviewing the way we purchase day opportunities for adults, with the aim of moving away from block contracts to more personalised individual support.

"This increases choices for people and helps ensure the council is making the best use of the funds it has available to support vulnerable adults in Essex.

"Excelcare was notified in November 2023 of block contracts ending and has decided not to transition to individual contracts for those using their service.

"Our social care team is working closely with the centre and its staff to ensure older people with ongoing needs are supported through this change and offered suitable alternative placements nearby."

Gazette: Cuts - Councillor Ivan Henderson said Essex County Council had been badly affected by central government cutsCuts - Councillor Ivan Henderson said Essex County Council had been badly affected by central government cuts (Image: Maria Fowler)

Harwich councillor Ivan Henderson is concerned about the impact the closure could have on both vulnerable adults and their families.

He said: “Up to now Essex County Council is all about cost-saving due to the hit by central government, taking away millions that would go to local government.

"My biggest concern is this is about costs and not the vulnerable older people.

Mr Henderson added: "I will be monitoring the situation very closely and I am hoping this is not just about cost but is about doing the right thing for the vulnerable older residents who do need support."