'Muckamore resettlement failure due to lack of planning' - Gildernew
Sinn Féin spokesperson for carers and well-being Colm Gildernew has said the Department of Health's lack of planning has led to its failure to meet its commitment to Muckamore Abbey residents.
Following the Department of Health confirmation that it would not meet the December deadline to ensure those living in Muckamore Abbey Hospital would be resettled in the community, Colm Gildernew commented:
“The department's admission that it will fail to meet its commitment is bitterly disappointing, particularly for residents and their families.
"Sinn Féin emphasised our concern directly with the Permanent Secretary earlier this year that the absence of an Action Plan would make meeting the deadline impossible.
"Along with the learning disability sector we have been consistently calling on the Department to publish its Action Plan to achieve resettlement within their own 12-month timeline, but eight months later no Action Plan has been forthcoming.
"It’s a bit late for the Department of Health to act surprised that it will not fulfill the commitment they made to Muckamore Abbey residents and their families.
“Resettling residents with complex needs is challenging and takes time but the department has consistently ignored the concerns raised with regards to its clear lack of planning.
“It’s long since time that the Health Permanent Secretary published his department's Action Plan detailing how the remaining residents in Muckamore Abbey will be resettled in the community.
"Maybe then we can see an accurate timeline being achieved which is nothing less than what Muckamore residents and their families need."