Acorns Walsall Hospice: Mum faces 'three trains' if unit closes

Written by on June 5, 2019

A mother said she faces three train journeys to take her daughter for help if a children’s hospice closes.

Acorns in Walsall faces closure due to a shortfall in funding, with staff and families told care will be transferred to sites in Birmingham and Worcester.

But parents said they are concerned about difficulties in getting children to the alternative hospices.

Acorns said it will listen to concerns as part of the two-month consultation on the proposals.

The Walsall hospice is almost 13 miles from the Birmingham site and about 36 miles from Worcester.

Charlotte Cleary said she is unsure how she will transport her daughter Aimee Heath, seven, who has cerebral palsy and uses the Walsall hospice.

“The Birmingham one is just outside of the city centre. To get there I’m going to need to take two or three trains with my daughter in her wheelchair and her feeding equipment and everything else,” she said.

“I am really going to struggle.”

Ms Cleary has launched an online fundraiser to help the Walsall hospice.

Gemma Harris, whose daughter Remi, two, attends Acorns, added: “Us parents with kids with disabilities have to fight for everything.

“I know we have Birmingham or Worcester but it is a little bit too far for parents like us.”

Tony Frobisher’s daughter Milla, one of triplets born prematurely, had severe cerebral palsy and used Acorns in Worcester before her death in 2016.

Her sister Jewel died at 17 days old, while Louisa has developmental delays, is blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other.

Mr Frobisher said he is worried about the impact of the extra travel on families.

“Walsall to Worcester is quite a trek and will be an added pressure for parents,” he said.

Acorns said it will listen to parents’ thoughts on the impact on travel during the consultation on proposals and do “everything it can” to help through the transition.

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