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Closure of Greenfield Residential Home would be devastating

10 November, 2008

Sinn Féin Chairperson of Strabane District Council Jarlath McNulty has said that that news that Greenfield Residential Home in Strabane is one of four statutory care homes for elderly people in the Western Board Area that is being earmarked for closure will come as a devastating blow to residents and staff at the facility and their families.

Cllr McNulty said:

"While the Western Health & Social Care Trust is publicly stating that today's information briefing for residents and staff of Greenfield Home in Strabane relates proposals to 'reform statutory residential care provision in the Western Board Area' local people are under no illusion that this merely code for the closure of this facility which has been the mainstay of statutory residential care for elderly people in the area for many decades.

"Most Greenfield residents have been there long term and to be forced to move out of familiar surroundings and away from friends and care staff at this stage would be extremely traumatic and detrimental to their health and wellbeing.

"However, it seems that financial considerations are once again taking precedent over health considerations.

"We have been told that ongoing reforms in the health service are to ensure that additional resources and finances are put into strengthening front line services but this move against statutory residential care for the elderly makes an absurdity of this.

"Strabane District Council has asked for urgent clarification from the Western Trust about what decisions have been made in relation to Greenfield Home. No doubt we will be fed the usual line that no decision has yet been made; that the health body is merely bringing forward proposals which will be open to public consultation; and that they will ensure that if a decision is finally reached to close Greenfield, then appropriate provision will be made for all its residents.

"This news comes against the backdrop of similar cuts to the budgets of other statutory agencies providing care services for the elderly in the Western Board Area and if Greenfield is closed, even more pressure will be placed on these already over-stretched services and the workers who are being expected to deliver them." ENDS

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