£250,000 boost to learning disabilities in Merton

Centre users at the Jan Malinowski Centre (JMC) are making the most of a host of new services and facilities on site following a £250,000 refurbishment funded by NHS Sutton and Merton (the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust) and delivered in partnership with the London Borough of Merton.

The Jan Malinowski Centre offers a range of services, therapies and social opportunities for people with severe or complex learning disabilities in Merton.

The centre was officially opened today by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Nick Draper, Councillor Maurice Groves, cabinet member for adult care services and health and Helen Cameron the Lead Director from NHS Sutton and Merton. Dignitaries and centre users celebrated the official opening at the newly renovated therapy centre over cake and refreshments followed by a tour of the new facilities.

Work started in April this year and was completed in August, leaving a vastly improved building with additional bathrooms and changing spaces and a number of therapy rooms and improved communal areas.

The building will now host existing JMC users who have additional support needs as well as Freshfields Day Centre service users in an environment that enhances their experience and enables staff to provide an improved service.

The remodelled centre now provides an excellent range of therapy options for people to choose from. It also offers special therapy rooms for physio, art, movement, drama and music therapy, an activity room and a sensory room for people with complex learning difficulties.

Councillor Maurice Groves, cabinet member for adult care services and health said: “The improvements to the centre will make a world of difference to both the staff and the people who use the centre every day. The additional therapy rooms mean that people with complex learning difficulties can have so much more of their needs met under the one roof which is a fantastic step forward for the centre and its users.”

“This is a great example of how partnership working between the council and local health services can offer great benefits to the community. We will continue to work closely with the NHS Sutton and Merton to ensure the needs of people with learning disabilities in Merton are met.”

Bill Gillespie, Chief Executive of NHS Sutton and Merton said: “These enhanced facilities are part of our programme to develop social model of care that is right for the 21st century – giving people more independence and choice over their lives. The refurbished centre provides high-quality, modern facilities in a supportive environment which I believe will significantly improve the experience of everyone who uses it.”

Mainstream JMC users have moved across the green to Freshfields Day Centre where they are continuing to experience the same range of activities as before, with many more of those activities taking place in their local community. Some of these users will also choose to access therapies at JMC.

The refurbishment of the JMC is a key element in Merton’s strategy to deliver personalised day opportunity programmes for adults with learning disabilities moving from Orchard Hill and Campus homes, into supported living accommodation in the community.