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Wordsley care home site too scary to visit at night
9:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Lou Ambrose outside one of the boarded up buildings on the Ridge Hill site. Buy photo: 111343M
A CONCERNED dad says relatives are too scared to visit his disabled daughter at night as the sprawling Wordsley site where she lives has become rundown and eerie after dark.
Just a handful of people now live at the Ridge Hill complex next to the former Wordsley Hospital site - among them is Lou Ambrose’s 46-year-old daughter Julie who suffers from severe epilepsy and brain damage.
Although happy at the Meadow Rise care home on the site, off Brierley Hill Road, where she has lived for the last two years - she receives few visitors in the evenings as relatives have become too frightened to visit the facility after dark.
The new home, which cares for three residents, is surrounded by boarded up buildings and overgrown grounds which have become a haunt for dog walkers, youths and vandals.
Mr Ambrose, aged 75, from Kingswinford, said: “The place is neglected; the lights aren’t working and people feel too intimidated by the darkness.
“Relatives won’t visit my daughter there with the dark nights.
“Vandals are at work and people are dumping stuff on the site. The place is like a waste land.”
Mr Ambrose said he contacted Dudley South MP Chris Kelly about the problem last summer and improvements to the grounds and access road were promised by NHS Dudley chiefs.
But the site, which is also home to Pens Meadow School and The Ridge Hill Centre which offers residential care and services for adults with special needs, remains largely derelict and unkempt.
Most of its old residential buildings were demolished a few years ago after a drive to provide more care for people with disabilities in the community - and the site was tipped to become a new housing estate like the neighbouring former Wordsley Hospital site.
Retired businessman Mr Ambrose said he is “100 per cent happy” with the Meadow Rise facility - owned by Stonham, part of Home Group Limited, which provides housing and support services.
But he said the surrounding site, owned by the NHS, needs “completely renovating”.
He said: “It’s plain neglect.
“When Julie moved in two years ago all the grassed area was well maintained - it was very pleasant. But everything is overgrown, there are weeds everywhere and it’s used as a rubbish tip.”
Conservative MP Chris Kelly said arrangements were made for the grass to be cut last summer and he added: “It’s obviously in need of being done again. We don’t think a one-off cut is sufficient - and there are buildings that belong to the health authority that should be disposed of.”
He said he knows of two organisations interested in taking on the empty buildings that “could make good use of them”.
No-one from the NHS was available for comment on the matter.