North Antrim UUP MLA Robin Swann has said that the Northern Health and Social Care Trust had already determined the future the Roddens home in Ballymoney long before an announcement to close it was made last Tuesday.
The Ulster Unionist representative and party Chief Whip said: “By banning the home from admitting new permanent residents, the Northern Trust had deliberately made its future increasingly unsustainable. Without new residents it was inevitable that the future of the publically managed home would be bleak. Any facility with empty beds is not operating as efficiently as it could be and I suspect the Trust have since tried to use the argument.
“I am disappointed but not shocked by the latest recommendation to close the home, this time from the Health and Social Care Board. It has been clear to me for some time that the Health Department, the Trust and the HSCB all wanted to cut down on costs and unfortunately one way to do this is by closing important facilities such as the Roddens.
“The entire process has been appallingly handled. Residents, their families and the staff have been shown no respect and there has been a lack of transparency from the outset.
“The Roddens has provided a very important service in the greater Ballymoney area for many years and it has given countless families the invaluable opportunity to remain close to their elderly loved ones. It has also been a steady source of employment for the town so the news it is to close will be worrying for its existing staff. I will be seeking assurances from the Northern Trust about what safeguards they will be able to offer these workers if the recommendation to close the facility is accepted,” said Assemblyman Swann.