On 15 November, parents gathered at Nascot Lawn in Watord to mark its closure. This sad occasion marked the end of the parents’ brave campaign to save the centre. But although they were ultimately unsuccessful, the case has had an impact on a national scale. Their campaign has helped raise the profile of nurse-led respite care. The judgment on the parents’ successful legal challenge gave the important clarification that short breaks for disabled children with complex health needs will be both a health service (for the child) and a social care service (for the parent). And the Nascot Lawn parents are determined to carry on campaigning for better support for disabled children and their families, both locally and nationally.
DCP Campaign Manager, Stephen Kingdom, who joined parents at the centre, said: “It’s heart-breaking to see Nascot Lawn close, particularly after all the hard work of the parents who fought so tirelessly to save it. The loss of this vital service is devastating for families and will place intolerable strains on them. The alternatives parents have been offered are inferior to the excellent support that Nascot provided and will not be able to meet all of the families’ needs.
“Sadly, Nascot Lawn is not an isolated case, as we see more and more services for disabled children and their families under threat across the country. That’s why the Government must act to protect the services which children and families need by providing additional funding in next year’s comprehensive spending review and creating a dedicated Disabled Children’s Fund.”