Helen Ley centre is on verge of being saved by new deal

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Helen Ley Care Centre could soon have a new owner ending 12 months of uncertainty over the future of the respite home.

MS Respite and Care Services Limited has signed ‘heads of terms’ with current owner the MS Society, paving the way for negotiations to take place over the transfer of the centre.

A process of due diligence will now begin with the aim of a contract exchange in the near future.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society, said: “We have been working hard since last summer to find appropriate, alternative providers for our three respite care centres in England and are pleased we have been able to reach this stage.

“While further work needs to take place before contracts can be signed, it now looks likely that we will be able to transfer all three centres to providers who can continue to provide a service for people with MS, which has always been our intention.

“We appreciate this has been a difficult time for those affected and we will endeavour to progress the transfer as smoothly and swiftly as possible.

“We would like to thank our staff for continuing to provide excellent care and support for guests, their families and carers during this time.”

The new provider has committed to continuing to provide a service for people with multiple sclerosis at the centre and service commitments will be kept with long-term residents at Helen Ley Court.

Current staff will be employed by the new provider under protection of employment regulations.

Jayne Canning, the chairman of the Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth MS Society, said a dark cloud had hung over patients and staff since the MS Society announced it was withdrawing its funding for Helen Ley and other respite centres last June.

Mrs Canning said: “My biggest concern right from the word go has been Helen Ley Court because people live there, it’s their home and they are very happy there.

“It has been 12 months and people have been very worried that they would have to move out. This is the marvellous news we’ve been waiting for.”