THE manager of a popular day care centre has moved to dismiss rumours it is closing ­— and reassure users that services are set to return to normal following the Covid pandemic.

Rumours are said to have been circulating on social media that Winifred Kettle day care facility is to shut  ­— a claim which Bolton Cares, which runs the Westhoughton centre, said is not true.

Now the CEO of the organisation, which is separate from Bolton Council, has issued a statement to reassure those who use the facility, which underwent a refurbishment a few years ago to become a modern centre of health and well-being by providing a range of services under one roof - including an day centre for adults.

Winifred Kettle day centre was shut temporarily due to the pandemic and became a crucial hub to respond to the demands of the pandemic, used by health care teams.

A phased reopening of the centre started last year but demand for older adults' day services remains reduced due to the on going Covid situation, say Bolton Cares.

CEO Sanjeet Bains said: "As a result, Winifred Kettle day centre has not as yet re-opened for day care due to the significantly reduced need. Re-opening the service without sufficient demand would risk putting undue pressure on day services and wider Bolton Cares services due to the continued demands and pressures of responding to Covid.

"The demand for day services is still being closely monitored. Whilst there have been some increases in demand, there is still capacity within the services. Once demand increases to the level where it would be viable to do so, Winifred Kettle will re-open - this will remain under constant review with Bolton Cares and District Social Work Teams exploring how/when services will re-open.

"Bolton Cares and the Council have continued to ensure that there are services running from Winifred Kettle to serve the community including supporting our voluntary and community groups to restart and use the space for groups.

"No decision has been taken on the future of Winifred Kettle and it remains a service within the Bolton Cares portfolio, but at present there is not sufficient demand to open three centres. Any decisions relating to permanent changes to day services will be subject to appropriate decision making. "

Currently, services for older adults are operating from Thicketford Centre and Brazley Centre. At these centres, bosses say there are still approximately 20 per cent of day service places unallocated due to the reduced demand for day services.

Bolton Cares says everyone who has a day service place has been offered a place in these other services to ensure continuity of support. Some individuals who previously attended Winifred Kettle have already taken these places up, and there is further capacity to accommodate more people who need support.

Mr Bains said that district social work teams and Bolton Cares continues to work together to offer these options to those who need and wish to access a day service to meet their needs.

Leader of Bolton Council Martyn Cox said: "Bolton Cares has reassured us that once demand returns, once people feel safe to come back to use the day care centre.

"They are happy to reopen it. Once demand returns once people are comfortable about using day care centres Bolton Cares are happy to reopen Winifred Kettle to the public serving the elderly people of Westhoughton."