COUNCILLORS have expressed his concern about the announcement by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust that it plans to close five residential homes within its area.
UUP’s Danny Kennedy said: “I am very concerned to hear that hot on the heels of the Northern Trust announcing plans to close nine residential homes on Thursday, we now hear that the Southern Trust plans to close five in its area.
“This will affect Cloughreagh House located in Bessbrook and will impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. These people deserve to have their voices heard. My colleagues and I will be listening to those directly affected and their families and will be responding to the consultation process which the Southern Health and Social Care Trust have announced.
“I would like the Southern Trust to explain what care packages they intend to put in place and if they will be facilitating new supported housing units.
“I will also be seeking some clarity on the issue from the Health Minister, Edwin Poots. I would like to hear what alternatives are being proposed by the Health Minister and how the intention of the Southern Trust to close the residential homes fits with his comments of 23rd February 2009 that ‘if we go down the route of doing away with statutory residential care, we could end up with a situation similar to that in England, where care in residential private nursing homes is of a much lower standard than we would expect for our elderly people’.”
Sinn Fein’s Pat McGinn echoed these sentiments.
“Cloughreagh House has been part of this community for a long time and we have always been proud of how it has provided the highest quality of service, care and activities for its residents.
“The “Transforming Your Care” review of health care provision states that the NHS will focus on helping elderly to live in their own home for as long as possible. In theory for those who wish to avail of that service, it may be grand; however there seems to be scant regard to the many impacting issues which have not been taken into consideration.
“What about those elderly people who want to retain a level of independent living but in a managed, loving, caring and safe environment” said the Councillor who continued “I and many others have yet to be convinced that proper financial resources, community care provision and support structures will be available to implement these proposals. This is not about “Transforming your Care” it’s about “Let someone else Care”.