THE Model and The Court Nursing Homes in Ballymoney are to be taken over by Four Seasons at the end of the month.
Following the collapse of Southern Cross Healthcare, the UK’s biggest care home chain, there has been much concern surrounding the future of the affected homes including the two local facilities.
However, during a recent Ballymoney Borough Council meeting, it was confirmed that they will be taken over by the new operators on the 30th September.
In response to the news, councillors called on Council to support the ‘smooth handover’ of the facilities.
However Cllr Ian Stevenson did question whether ‘jobs were secure’. He said: “Have we got assurance from Four Seasons that local jobs are safeguarded?”
The Chief Executive replied that there had been ‘staff consultations’ however ‘the transfer did not guarantee all jobs’.
He added: “Ballymoney is the only two facilities in Northern Ireland under Four Seasons. So maybe Council wants to ask them to come to Council and then they can be advised on such questions?”
Cllr Mervyn Storey also highlighted that there were ‘numerous issues surrounding nursing homes’.
He explained: “The Robinson is the only local one now provided by the Trust. This has raised concerns over access to such facilities. Where do we send our loved ones - to Larne?
“It is good to see where our provisions are going and I would back the call to invite Four Seasons to Council.”
Following the announcement David McIlveen MLA also issued a statement to the Times stating: “I whole heartedly welcome the news that these care homes will continue to provide a vital service for the public.
“I have had concerns throughout this process as to the impact the collapse of Southern Cross would have. As two of the affected care homes are in my constituency, I have been in close contact with Southern Cross Healthcare management throughout the restructuring process.
“I welcome the news that Four Seasons are due to take over the two care homes in my constituency and offer them all my support at this challenging time.
“The two affected care homes in my constituency are due to be taken over by Four Seasons by the end of this month. I hope that we can all work together to make a success of this change. It is good news for residents and their families as Four Seasons is renowned for investing heavily in improving patient care.”