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Proposals on five local care homes for elderly go out to consultation

Elderly care

A County Armagh care home will resume permanent admissions after a public consultation which would see the closure of Roxborough House at Moy.

Cloughreagh House in Bessbrook had previously been earmarked for closure under radical changes to the provision of statutory residential care for the elderly.

But it was later given a reprieve.

And this afternoon a public consultation was announced by the Southern Health Trust to determine the provision of care for the elderly.

The public are being encouraged to make their views known during the 14-week consultation, which will conclude on September 18.

The proposals on the table relate to five homes in the Southern Area.

In relation to Cloughreagh House, it has been ruled that it will remain open and resume permanent admissions upon completion of the consultation process.

It’s a similar story for Crozier House in Banbridge.

But Dromore’s Skeagh House will be axed permanentl, and Roxborough House Moy, will be subject to a phased closure and will continue not to accept permanent admissions.

Business Cases have been approved by Supported Living for two new 18-bed schemes in Armagh/Dungannon and Banbridge/Dromore.

Meanwhile, Slieve Roe in Kilkeel, will also be subject to a phased closure and will not accept permanent admissions. A new supported living development is currently being progressed by Oaklee/Trinity housing association.

The Trust says there are no plans to close Slieve Roe until this scheme is completed.

Southern Health and Social Care Trust Interim Chief Executive, Paula Clarke said: “The former Health Minister gave a commitment that all existing permanent residents in statutory residential homes will be allowed to remain in their home as long as they wish and as long as their needs can continue to be met there and the Trust will support this commitment. As such these proposals do not present any change for current residents.

“We are committed to ensuring that a range of services are available to meet the needs of older people, their families and carers now and into the future.

“We appreciate that change is difficult for everyone but we believe it is essential that we plan ahead and take action to ensure that we can offer high quality accommodation and increased support choices for older people.

“I would encourage people to read the consultation documents and get involved by submitting a response that will be sincerely considered as part of the overall assessment of views at the end of the process.”

Consultation documents are available on the Trust website: www.southerntrust.hscni.net/consultations; by phoning (028) 3836 6819 or (028) 3836 6879 or by email srh.consultation@southerntrust.hscni.net

Enquiries can also be made to the Director of Older People and Primary Care, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, c/o Planning Department, Brackens, Craigavon Area Hospital, 68 Lurgan Road, BT63 5QQ

The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge said: “The DHSSPS, HSCB and five H&SC Trusts have now addressed the concerns that the Commissioner originally raised with the Minister about proposals to close a number of statutory residential care homes. The process has been regionally planned, was transparent and evidence-based.

“In addition, each Local Commissioning Group has been involved with their local H&SC Trust to make sure that, when decisions are made about closures of statutory residential care homes, it is only to be on the basis that appropriate alternative provision is in place for the residents who would be affected by the closure.

“The Commissioner recognises that some changes have to be made now, in order to ensure that the overall services to older people can be high quality, appropriate and fully meet the needs of todays and tomorrows older people.”

Linda Robinson, Age NI Chief Executive, added: “The voice of older people living in homes, which may be affected, must be central to the consultation process, and those people must be at the forefront of exercising choice and control over their lives. We welcome the regional approach that has been taken to co-ordinate this process across all five Trusts.

“We know clearly that this process has the potential to cause concern and anxiety for older people, their families and friends, and we are content that the Trusts will ensure that the utmost attention is paid to ensuring that their rights are upheld at all stages throughout the consultation and decision making process.

“This may require specific support to those older residents who will want to participate.

“We welcome the continued commitment by the Minster for Health to ensure that no older person, whose needs remain the same, will be forced to leave a home they reside in.”

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