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Clarity needed on recommendation for care homes closures

25 April, 2013 - by Mickey Brady

Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady said the Northern Health Trust and Heath departmental officials need to clarify their reasons for recommending that the Northern Trust should close all their residential care homes.

 The Newry & Armagh MLA and member of the Assembly’s Health Committee said:

 “The Health Minister had told us that Transforming Your Care is about putting services into the community that would help with early intervention and prevention if needed.

“As part of Transforming Your Care it was recommended that there be a 50% reduction in care homes across the whole of the North.

 “This is because the majority of older people wish to be cared for in their homes as long as possible. That would see more care being provided to people in their own homes through care packages and more resources being put into respite for carers.

 “However, the Northern Trust would appear to be proposing closing all their residential homes and while this is not going to happen immediately, I can understand that people currently living in these homes and their families are worried about the future.

 “There appears have been a lack of consultation and information going to those who this decision directly affects and that is why the Chair of the committee Sue Ramsey has asked for an urgent meeting with the Northern Trust and Health departmental officials on Monday to find out exactly what is happening.

 “Whatever changes come through this strategy the fundamental principle of the health service, healthcare free at the point of delivery, can not be altered. The Minister needs to reassure people that this is not privatisation through the back door.” CRÍOCH/END

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