Families left 'devastated' by clinic's possible closure

AN Axminster mother has been left devastated by the impending closure of a specialist clinic which cares for her autistic son. Beverley Moore, of Lyme Road, was given seven weeks notice that Coombe House, near Crediton, would close on December 12.

AN Axminster mother has been left "devastated" by the impending closure of a specialist clinic which cares for her autistic son.

Beverley Moore, of Lyme Road, was given seven weeks notice that Coombe House, near Crediton, would close on December 12.

Her son Joshua, 19, who is severely autistic and has underlying health problems, has been staying at the clinic for nearly a year.

She said: "I feel angry, let down and devastated. We thought we had a good place for life. It's an horrendously short amount of time to find somewhere else. It's an absolute nightmare.


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"My son had improved so much in the last 11 months and was finally off all his medication. How am I going to explain to him about the closure? When his routine is broken, there's going to be a fall-out. God knows what will happen without this care."

The 14-bedroom home is run by The Priory Group, famous for its clinic in London which treats celebrities trying to overcome drink and drug addictions.

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A place at the home costs �2,000 a month. The Moore family's funding is provided by Devon Primary Care Trust.

Mrs Moore said: "The Priory is expected to be respectable, well-established company with a higher than high reputation.

"We are looking at other placements for Joshua in the area, but they are few and far between."

In a letter to Mrs Moore, The Priory said there were not enough clients at Coombe House and the site was running at a significant loss. They added it was difficult to recruit staff of the required quality.

Another Axe Valley resident, who does not wish to be named, said their teenage daughter had been left without alternative residence.

She said: "The Priory Group has a reputation to uphold and we feel that they should have dealt with us with more consideration and compassion."

A spokesman for Coombe House said: "We are consulting on a plan to close this facility. Any decision needs to achieve the best outcomes for all our service users.

"If the closure goes ahead, the smooth transition from Coombe House for every young adult to alternative suitable accommodation will be our prime concern and we would work with parents and the placing authorities to achieve this.

"As a result, maintaining the provision at Coombe House has become impossible without passing on considerable additional cost to placing authorities, which we are not prepared to do. That is why we are having to consider the option of closure.

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