Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Anger at Trust plans to close Rathmoyle Residential Care Home

14 January, 2009

Sinn Féin Vice-Chair of Moyle District Council, Cllr Cara McShane, has called on the Northern Health and Social Care Trust not to close Rathmoyle Residential Care Home.

Cllr McShane said any move to close the home would be "a savage blow to the needs of Ballycastle". She also called for "increased resources to enable a modernization programme for the existing home".

Cllr McShane said:

"As Council vice-chair, I visited Rathmoyle before Christmas and met both residents and staff. I witnessed at first-hand the sterling work being done at the home.

"There are 39 permanent residents and 40 staff, who would all be badly affected if the Trust's plans to close the home are allowed to proceed unchallenged. The home also provides day care facilities and 'meals-on-wheels'.

"This is a vital public service for the community. It is not acceptable to give the people of Ballycastle the ultimatum of using private homes or travelling up to 20 miles away to the nearest other publicly-funded residential home.

"Families and employees are already suffering a burden from the failure of the Trust to modernize Rathmoyle's facilities. There is a need for increased resources to enable such a modernization programme.

"Many of the employees only heard news about the Trust's plans through the media before they had an opportunity to read letters that had been sent to them. And the Trust didn't even bother to mention its closure proposals while meeting a Sinn Féin delegation on budgetary issues before Christmas.

"Once again we are seeing proposals for vital public services being removed from one of the most deprived Council wards in the six counties. That is not an acceptable situation.

"The Trust needs to revise its position and step back from the option of closure. Improved resources and a modernization programme would allow Rathmoyle's facilities to match the high standard of care and community created by Rathmoyle's staff and residents.

"Once more we are seeing a short-sighted approach which will save money in the short-term but cost the community in the long-term. The care for the elderly cannot just be measured in pounds and pennies.

"The Trust's contempt for the needs of the area is highlighted by the ludicrous decision to hold a meeting about the future of Rathmoyle in Coleraine - not in Ballycastle." ENDS

Note to Editors

There is a public meeting scheduled for Monday 2nd February in the Causeway Hospital Lecture Theatre at 7pm.

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