A TREASURED dementia care service in Southend has won a partial stay of execution...but will be slashed from 12 carers to just two as part of tough budget cuts.

Southend Council confirmed yesterday its dementia navigator scheme will be cut and Tory councillor for adult social care, James Moyies admitted it would “no longer be a Rolls Royce service”.

Initially, the council considered cutting funding for all 12 “dementia navigators” who work with families to direct them to the services they need.

Following a consultation, the scheme will be significantly reduced to just two and campaigners fear the navigators will be unable to deal with the scale of people needing support.

Leanne Kelly, who organised a dementia protest on Friday, said: “Personally, I believe this will put more people’s lives at risk and create more pressure for hospitals.

“People will lose their jobs and it will create more stress and create more demand for mental health services.

“It will create more pressure on people and on day centres. Two navigators are not enough and I am looking to put a lot of pressure on the council. There needs to be more people working to help people who are suffering and their families.”

The move is set to save the council £250,000 a year as it looks to tackle a budget deficit of £6.3million.

Despite cutting the number of dementia navigators, the council will invest in three “dementia clubs” where people with dementia can visit.

Mr Moyies said: “It is difficult to paint this as amazing, we have listened, and we are taking mitigating circumstances. We are looking to keep the support clubs going, two hours a week in dementia club is powerful and we are trying to keep part of the navigator service.

“It is no longer a Rolls Royce service, but it will remain a good service.

“The strongest message we have had from the consultation comments is those clubs are a lifeline and taking those away is a threat, we are looking through the lens of the locality model and we want to build around that.

“There are three clubs running, including the Windermere Club and we are trying to create a fourth club to help educate and support social workers in general.”