Fears for Western Trust care homes

Published Wednesday, 01 May 2013
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The Western Trust is planning to close its all of its residential care homes, UTV understands.

Fears for Western Trust care homes
Four homes could close under the proposals. (© UTV)

Four residential homes in Londonderry, Strabane and Limavady will close if plans go ahead.

The trust is due to discuss the proposal at a board meeting on Thursday.

Around half of all care homes in Northern Ireland are set to close as part of the Transforming Your Care (TYC) programme, which was agreed by Health Minister Edwin Poots.

But last week it was revealed that all nine homes in the Northern Trust area could be closed under the scheme.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan spoke to families and staff at the William Street home in Derry following a meeting with the Trust officials on Wednesday evening.

"Staff are obviously very concerned about what the future might hold for them, whereas families of the residents in William St are confused, angry, they're very upset," he said.

"It seems to me and it seems to the staff, and more importantly to the residents that it is a done deal.

"There is talk of a consultation period for 12 weeks following tomorrow's board meeting, however it does seem to be a fait acommpli."

He said families are confused over where their elderly relatives will be cared for if the closures go ahead.

Mr Durkan added: "They are angry that these closures are being carried out as part of a cuts agenda yet are being peddled as an improvement in health care and they're afraid of the upheaval and the upset that this is going to cause."

Public service union NIPSA has claimed the Southern Trust was also considering similar closures.

Alison Millar, NIPSA Deputy General Secretary said: "While not unexpected given the announcements last week it is an absolute disgrace that the Western Trust and seeking to effectively evict 73 residents from their homes.

"NIPSA believes that irrespective of the outcome of any public consultation the Trust and the Health Minister have already decided and will try and force through closures of these residential homes and move these elderly residents mainly to the private sector.

"It is a disgrace that these vulnerable adults are being treated in this manner - they are seen as just a commodity that if it no longer suits the Trust Delivery Plan can effectively be gotten rid off."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
norman.d in bangor wrote (548 days ago):
all you people who voted this lot into government are getting what you voted for money spent on north south bodies irish language and golf tournaments but no money for our elderly care homes that they are now closing and the Dup and sinn fein fight over flags and parades
jim in s'land wrote (548 days ago):
Meanwhile the health minister is concerned over which songs will be sung at a football match.
Concerned in West Tyrone wrote (548 days ago):
Another example of the government causing fear, stress and discontent. They are saying that they know what's best for society, if this is true then why is decisions like this one always goes against what the public wants. This is an attack on the vulnerable in society, they are treating the people who they are meant to be looking out for as animals. These people in power have to be reminded who put them there, they are publicly elected, they are answerable to us. I am sure with the high wages they are getting paid they will not have to worry about their future care needs, but this is a low act of cost cutting by directly attacking a vulnerable group in society
ricky in Down wrote (548 days ago):
Has anyone been bothered to ask these older people what they think or want in this so called consultation or is it just being forced on to them by the suits?
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