Ely woman with learning disabilities housed 83 miles away will return home in new £3 million scheme

Ely woman with learning disabilities housed 83 miles away will return to the city in new £3 million scheme. Alison Grey is pictured. Picture: FAMILY

Ely woman with learning disabilities housed 83 miles away will return to the city in new £3 million scheme. Alison Grey is pictured. Picture: FAMILY

Archant

An Ely woman with serious learning disabilities – obliged to live in care 83 miles away for the past eight years and at a cost to the county council of £4,300 a week – is coming home.

Alison Grey, 50, will be one of the first to occupy a £3m development of six houses for people with learning disabilities that the council has earmarked for Burwell.

What was meant to be a short-term care arrangement led to a court battle for Alison's parents who, through ill health, are rarely able to make to make the long trip for visits; Alison is, however, brought home fortnightly.

Before her condition worsened, Alison volunteered at the Sue Ryder Care Home in Ely and Princess of Wales Hospital nursery in Ely.

"She was amazing with people and brilliant with children," Mr Grey said.

"Now she has lost everything she had. It has been a fight to get her back home."

Her case is why the county council believes Burwell is ideally suited for a new purpose built complex.

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The council's adult social care team is looking for approval of scheme that will be two thirds funded by NHS England. It could take two years to build.

The council admits it has "limited provision in county" to meet the needs of those with complex learning disabilities and/or autism and until now has to look outside of Cambridgeshire for specialist provision.

Burwell was identified as the "best option" due to the environment and supportive community presence.

"Having a local resource such as this will save on time and cost for professionals visiting out of area placements as well as family visiting," it adds.

Mr Grey said the council had so far spent in excess of £1.4million caring for his daughter - a sum he described as "a ridiculous waste of money."

Alison had previously been in supported living accommodation in Littleport before it was decided that she needed more help.

Mrs Grey said: "We once looked ourselves and found a site in Ely where they could build but we were told it was not appropriate.

"She was only meant to be in Decoy Farm near Great Yarmouth for the short term, up to three years."

The new housing scheme is due to be approved on January 16 by the adults committee.

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