Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has said that it was irresponsible of Health Minister Edwin Poots to announce that four care homes have been saved before receiving the report of a full consultation as it leaves other homes wondering where they now stand.
Ms. McLaughlin said,
“I welcome the news that four care homes have been saved from closure. However, I think it is irresponsible of the Minister to announce this before receiving the report from the consultation on care homes, which finished at the end of March.
“By announcing that these four homes will remain open he has reignited fear and uncertainty in other care homes whose threatened closure lead to the consultation.
“If the minister had come to these conclusions in the first place this would have alleviated months of tension and stress for the residents and their families.
“He now needs to explain the purpose of carrying out the consultation. Will he still abide by the recommendations if they are contrary to his announcement tonight?
“If not he needs to explain how he can justify the cost of the inquiry if he has decided to sideline the report and implement his own personal preferences.
“Tonight’s announcement was highly irresponsible and has only added to the worry and uncertainty in care homes right across the North.
“The Minister also needs to explain what he means by moving from closure to utilization as it is becoming obvious that he is lost in deciding how to implement proper care packages for the elderly.”