46 Shakespeare Road
Medway Maritime Hospital
14th January 2009
Dear Mr Horne
Re: Sanderson Child Development Centre
My 3 year old son has been attending the CDC since 2006 and the service offered by the dedicated and experienced staff there has been nothing less than outstanding. You can therefore imagine my shock and disgust to learn that this resource had been â€œmovedâ€ to accommodate a new adult ward to deal with a backlog. Well at least that was the general gist of information on your website before it was removed and now there is no mention of the move anywhere on your site.
In addition to the staff of the CDC the centreâ€™s other great asset was that it was located away from the main hospital which means that for children it is a more accessible venue as my son relates the main hospital building to medical treatment rather than more therapeutic treatments. He is fortunate enough to be attending Hedgehogs, the results of which are clear for all to see, in 4 terms he has gone from saying nothing and not walking to chatting a way and running and lots of these improvements are down to exercises and help given by the Goldilocks team. There is not one child in that group who has not benefited from attending and I know that Goldilocks offers several other such groups and Iâ€™m sure the same can be said for them.
My son finds routine very important and likes to know in advance what is happening and so we had told him at the weekend that we would be going to Hedgehogs and he was very excited to be returning after the Christmas break, I then had to explain that it wouldnâ€™t be happening and he cried asking where Hedgehogs hospital (his name for the CDC) had gone. Obviously with the limited information being given to the Centreâ€™s patients it is impossible to know what answer to give him.
The staffâ€™s dedication, professionalism and determination to improve the lives of children who have access to the CDC has continued and today we were fortunate enough to receive a home visit from one of the Hedgehog team, however this does not by any means compensate for the loss of the centre itself. Clearly the temporary base for the CDC isnâ€™t suitable and I would like to know how much consultation and thought went into the decision. The children who access the CDC are unable to voice their opinions on the closure of the centre or express how it helps them, I guess if you need more space they are an easy place to start!
I look forward to receiving full explanation as to why it was felt necessary to move the CDC and I would like to know what consideration was given to the children who are served by the CDC when this decision was made.
Cc: Vernon Hull, Ellen Ryabov, Malvinder Raval, Marion Dinwoodie, Beverley Hughes MP, Ed Balls MP, Alan Johnson MP, Contact a Family (Charity) Kent Messenger (Newspaper), Meridian News, BBC Kent