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Havering stroke victims fear losing rehab lifeline

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 June 2017

Chris Miller, who developed an acoustic neuroma six years ago, fears Tapestry services he uses for rehabilitation will end after a council review of services. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

Chris Miller, who developed an acoustic neuroma six years ago, fears Tapestry services he uses for rehabilitation will end after a council review of services. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

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A lifeline for stroke victims, their families and carers may be cut following a review of adult voluntary sector services.

Chris Miller, 65, Alma Avenue, Hornchurch, is one of hundreds of people who turned to Tapestry, North Street, Hornchurch, to access social activities and support after having a stroke.

But the charity has told people its stroke support services will end in August as its contract with Havering Council is due to end a month later.

“I feel angry about it,” said Mr Miller.

Funding for all services within the adult voluntary sector have been reviewed by council.

Dementia care for the elderly, and facilities for people with physical and learning disabilities, mental health, and autism will be affected.

Providers who win new contracts will deliver their services in September, but it is not guaranteed people will continue to receive familiar support.

A spokesman for the council said the same level of funding Tapestry received will be invested with the new provider come September.

“It [might] save money but the people who have had strokes need exercise. If they don’t get exercise they will get worse. They will end up in hospital again,” continued Mr Miller.

“So it’s short-sighted.”

The council spokesman added: “In relation to support for stroke victims, the NHS continue to provide targeted support for stroke victims, including support in the hospital and the employment of the Admiral nurse.

“A new integrated rehabilitation and reablement service has recently launched, provided by North East London Foundation Trust. “Following a stay in hospital this service offers support in the community provided by therapists to help people regain their skills and independence. This includes supporting those who have suffered a stroke.”

But Chris and other people accessing the Tapestry service enjoy it’s Friday swimming group at Central Park Leisure Centre, Gooshays Drive, Romford, and Thursday social club run at Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch.

A spokesman for Tapestry said: ““Tapestry has delivered [the] stroke contract for many many years and was very happy to do it.

“It’s a really good service for people who have had a stroke, their carers and families.

“I am sure, broadly speaking, it is a worry for the entire voluntary sector.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The council is still evaluating proposals from all voluntary and community organisations working in Havering and those submitted from further afield.

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