PATIENTS of the Derriads respite centre in Chippenham have been left disappointed after the council announced it was planning to close it.

Cody Hunt, of Poppy Close, Calne, who has autism, a genetic disorder called Noonan Syndrome and learning difficulties, and his mother Tonya Bainbridge, say they will be losing out on the centre that they love and trust if it is closed.

“The people that work there are awesome,” Ms Bainbridge said. “It is the best place and I really trust them with Cody’s care.

“Cody is unable to attend two other centres because he needs one-to-one care, and we haven’t been told where the other one is, which is pretty bad.

“He is absolutely devastated. He loves the staff there and loves going to see his friends, and it is a godsend for me.

“We are going through so much at the moment and we get on each other’s nerves sometimes because we’re so alike.”

Mr Hunt, who is 23, is entitled to 44 respite days, but is lucky to be booked in once a month for two to three days.

He said: “The staff are so nice there and I can trust them. I am living with my mum and there are not many opportunities out there for respite. It’s so unfair.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “One of our top priorities is supporting vulnerable people, and we need to ensure we are doing this in the most effective way possible.

“There has been a reduction in the use of our respite service for people with learning difficulties over the last three years, so we have carried out an internal review.

“The outcome is a proposal to close the Derriads respite unit, as there is enough space in our other units to meet the demands of local people.

“We are currently consulting users of the service and their family carers on the proposed changes, and listening to any concerns they may have. Their valuable feedback will be taken into account and the final proposals are due to be presented to cabinet at the end of March.”