Care homes admissions review urged

Published Thursday, 12 June 2014
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Health trusts are being asked to review their policy on new admissions to residential care homes in Northern Ireland.

Following the completion of the first stage of a consultation, the Health and Social Care Board said during its June meeting that it is "firmly committed" to Health Minister Edwin Poots' pledge to allow elderly residents to remain in their homes indefinitely.

In April, Mr Poots announced a U-turn on a decision to close statutory homes.

It came after a backlash of anger from residents and their families when 18 homes were lined up for closure under the Transforming Your Care initiative.

At the minister's request, the Board considered the non-admissions policy of some trusts and recommended that individual positions regarding permanent admissions be reviewed.

The final criteria will now be used by Trusts to assist decision making about the role and function of statutory residential care homes in the context of planning suitable services for older people in the future.

There will always be a need for some level of residential care but the changing trends and desires of people must be taken into account too as we plan for the future.

Fionnuala McAndrew, HSC Board Acting Chief Executive

Following the meeting, Fionnuala McAndrew, Acting Chief Executive with the Board said: "It is important that Trusts provide the best possible level of care alongside the need to change and modernise their services, if this is required.

"In our report we have made proposals which have taken account of both of these issues."

Mrs McAndrew added: "I recognise that this process has caused anxiety for residents, their families and carers but I hope that the Minister's statements and our commitment to them will provide the reassurance needed to ensure that any future changes can be managed in a way that does not cause any further concerns."

Because there is currently significant spare capacity in homes, I am keen to see an expanded role for them - providing respite care and given the current pressures in our hospital system, potential step-down provision following discharge from hospital.

Health Minister Edwin Poots

Responding to the Board's report, Health Minister Edwin Poots said: "In April, I reassured residents that they would remain in their homes for as long as they wished and so long as their needs can continue to be met there.

"Today, I stand by that reassurance because I appreciate the value of the friendships they have forged, the close connections to family and the community and the quality of care and an attachment to the staff.

"I have tasked my officials to explore the potential for residential facilities to serve as broader hubs for older people's services."

Trade union Unison has called for residential homes to be restored to full capacity.

Regional Organiser Joe McCusker said: "Unison will continue to challenge this process at every level, and support all residential homes in building and demonstrating their own vision for their future.

"It is now clear that there are now and never have been good intentions by those with responsibility and funding for care."

© UTV News
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6 Comments
heather in newtownabbey wrote (134 days ago):
re realistic,, i dont think my aunt is lucky at all to have these carers she is 82 and has worked all her life its not a case of lucky to have its a case of entitled to ,, yes she is awaiting a place in a nursing home it just so happens she wants to be with her husband who is already in a care home and in her words she wants to die with him ,, there is so much red tape in getting her in she needs a nursing bed ,, not emi ,, as she is on 24hr oxygen . we all know there are homes we would put our relatives in and some we wouldnt ,and paying with credit or debit card at a&e we would be claiming a refund as it is not fit for purpose ie i rang for a doctor for her as they demand 8.30am only to be told at 4.45 that afternoon they had forgotton about her !!! when eventually the doctor did come out not even an apology he just said he would send an ambulance which arrived at 9pm took her to the mater ,, got her a bed as i thought when i left her at midnight ,, i then recieved a call at 5 in the morn to say they had moved her to the city !! what a traumatic time for an elderly lady to endure !! would you pay for a service like that ??? i think not .. she has already paid for her treatment be it below standard all her life ..
Peter in Belfast wrote (134 days ago):
Heather - you should tell the Health Trust that these times are not acceptable. ie dinner should be at around 5pm, not 3. It is not for a private home care provider to dictate the times the carers help your aunt. If need be a different provider should be used. Dont take any nonsense from them or the Trust.
b3fast in belfast wrote (134 days ago):
i used to work out on the road, im in a care home now, bein in the road, is scary, it wud reali ave to be seen to be believed, when u are nicely askd could u make a slice of bacon n a sausage for lunch and have to turn the service user dwn is a terrible thing, why should these ppl in their own homes ave to eat quick fast meals! there is ppl out there on double run, it takes 2 to work with them, due to illness, mobility ect thru no fault of their own of course, bt there never time on the road for 2 ppl to work with them 1 has to do breakfast, medication, beds ect while the other does personal care, its shockin! the community is no good! whereas in a carehome, theres no rushing, aids for hot baths, good cookd meals, good levels of care, as assistants arnt pushd to limits, games, days out with care staff safe secure home for nights, and care staff 24/7. yes every1 likes the comfort of their own home and sometimes change isnt a good thing, bt if u get the change done soon enuf i wud say care homes all the way!
BS in Co. L/Derry wrote (135 days ago):
Shame on Mr Poots misleading residents and their famlies regarding these care homes. Lift the non admissions policy urgenty and save your head Mr Poots. What do you expect from the DUP. Just looking votes as usual. Im glad they didnt get my vote this time round!!
Realistic Healthcare Worker in Belfast wrote (135 days ago):
Heather your aunt is very lucky to get what she gets, 4 calls a day is a lot, if she requires more care than that she requires a nursing or care home. Care in the community is for people who can cope with the basic elements of daily living on their own or with family support. Its a little additional support not 24 hour nursing care, if everyone got that the health service would collapse. Lets be realistic our healthcare system is 100% better than many other developed countrys, the problem is we are becoming spoilt. Try handing over your credit card details everytime you present yourself to A&E or GP, we would soon appreciate what we have.
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