Council could reopen Neighbourhood Resource Centres soon

Harrow council is carrying out risk assessments to see how the three Neighbourhood Resource Centres in Harrow, closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, could be reopened safely.
Council wants these assessments detailed and include all the measures that would be needed for the safe re-opening of the buildings, including social distancing, hygiene and regular cleaning, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), one-way systems within the buildings, and transport arrangements.
But the council alerted “We are also mindful that winter may bring some additional challenges – we wouldn’t want to reopen and be faced with having to potentially close them again”.
Opened in 2009, Neighbourhood Resource Centres in Harrow usually provide vital day care services and therapy for people with learning difficulties whilst also giving the families much needed respite from their roles as carers.
“To reopen safely we would need to use the spaces in the Centres differently – including reducing the number of people attending at any time to meet social distancing guides and to prevent the spread of covid. One way we could do this is by running morning and afternoon sessions rather than whole day sessions so that we could support more people in the centre.  We are also looking at how we could establish “bubbles” for staff and users to minimise risk” explained a council spokesperson.
Regarding the users concern about the loss of the centres services, the council spokesperson claimed “We are in regular contact with our clients and their families keeping them updated on the status of the centres. We have been carrying out social work reviews to ensure care plans are adapted to provide the right care and support needed. We have also developed outreach and community activities for some of our citizens, including home visits and taking some people out for short trips or walks and have moved some activities online using WhatsApp and Zoom”.
However, all users are not happy with the arrangements. A local GP whose severely disabled brother attended a local neighbourhood resource centre for many years, reported to the Harrow Monitoring Group that ‘poor communication has resulted from these closures as well as failure to negotiate the alternative services offered’.